BMW has long been considered to be the premier luxury vehicle manufacturer across the world, and throughout the company’s history, innovation and creativity have been at the forefront of everything they do. That’s as true as it ever was as they’ve just announced the opening of the BMW Future Lab.
A Real Need for Innovation
Creating a solid innovation process is more important than ever. With the future of vehicles clearly moving toward EVs, BMW has realized just how important plowing forward is. To that end, in 2016, the company opened its first innovation lab at its Financial Services’ UK headquarters. At that time the lab was primarily developed to draw in start-ups that were just beginning with fresh ideas, talent, and new technologies to hasten the development of products and push them to market faster. The final aim was to enhance customer satisfaction, dismantle barriers that young drivers face when wanting to purchase new vehicles, and revolutionize ways in which customers can insure their vehicles.
After the progress in 2016, BMW worked to grow the program in 2017 and revealed more options across the globe. In 2018, Tokyo was the site of the Japan Innovation Lab. A Collaboration Lab was held in Columbus, Ohio, the same year. COVID-19, though, pushed much of that to a virtual lab setting.
On Friday, June 3, BMW opened another piece of this puzzle in Chicago – the “BMW Future Lab.” It was a pop-up, but the goal was to show how sustainable this brand has become and where it’s headed. There were a number of different stations with which visitors could interact on display at the Chicago Yacht Club.
The current Future Lab will play a critical role in the company. Over the past 5 years, the innovation Lab has become a key feature of advances for BMW. The lab has continued to make developments in product offering, technology, service design, and improved car financing. BMW has continued to set the pace for innovation in the automotive industry but it wants to do more and embrace the next wave of mobility for its customers.
Some of the contributions from previous labs include the following:
- Wrisk: An app that offers real-time control for vehicle, home, and travel insurance.
- CONCIERGE: A chat-bot creator that enables one-to-one marketing to simplify business and customer interaction.
- Drover: A platform that helps to bridge the gaps that so often occur between longer lease providers and short-term car rental companies. It means flexibility and easy access for customers.
These innovations speak to the many needs of BMW customers, and thanks to the new Future lab, it’s possible that so much more will come out of this unique approach, particularly with BMW electric production goals of having more than 7 million EVs on the road in the next seven years.
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