Car (South Africa) - - TECH -

De­vel­op­ing fu­ture ve­hi­cle mod­els or in­no­va­tive ideas is a risky busi­ness. Even if the com­puter ren­der­ings are signed off and the engi­neer­ing sim­u­la­tions con­firm a fea­si­ble so­lu­tion, there is still pub­lic per­cep­tion and re­ac­tion that need to be gauged. That is the rea­son why BMW has in­tro­duced a new step be­fore build­ing ex­pen­sive pro­to­types, and they’re called “pretertypes”. Ac­cord­ing to Rainer Daude, head of BMW’S for­ward-look­ing tech­nol­ogy of­fice in Mu­nich, a pa­per model or even a sketch is shown to a small group of peo­ple in se­cret be­fore the go-ahead is given. As an ex­am­ple, an idea that was shelved be­fore the pro­to­type phase was a spe­cial trailer filled with lithium-ion bat­ter­ies in­tended to be towed by the BMW i3 to ex­tend its range.

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