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“YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE TRIED IT.”“YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE TRIED IT.”

“YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE TRIED IT.”

5 min reading time

We interviewed driving instructor Philipp Götz on the M Mixed Reality Experience.

In 2024, the M Mixed Reality Experience is back, and at full throttle. Driving Instructor Philipp Götz explains what awaits you in this superlative MR experience.

11 March 2024

The BMW M Mixed Reality Experience is a new and innovative driving experience, in which virtual and physical worlds are combined and the vehicle itself becomes the gaming controller. State-of-the-art Mixed Reality (MR) technologies enable an immersive in-car experience on a completely new level. In 2024, training courses will be bookable as stand-alone events. We talked to Philipp Götz, an M Driving instructor, about this unique experience.

BMW M Magazine: 2024 sees the return of the M Mixed Reality Experience, and at full throttle. Philipp, what lies in store for participants who decide to take this training course?

Philipp Götz: Basically, they can look forward to a training course they will never have experienced before because they’ll be diving into a completely new world. It is, as the name implies, a mixed-reality experience. That means the perfect combination of two worlds. On the one hand, you’re in a real vehicle, you can feel the full power of a 510-hp BMW M4 Competition, you’re in the cockpit, you can see the steering wheel and your hands, but then you dive into this virtual world – a completely new dimension. The participants drive on a small course, a virtual interpretation of M Town, and try to collect coins, like in a game. It’s a fantastic combination of the virtual and real worlds – and a new dimension of driving experience.

Am I a better driver with video game experience?

Anyone who’s played a racing game at least once and takes part in the M Mixed Reality Experience, will probably get used to it quicker, yes. But it’s also a completely new experience and can’t be compared with existing products on the market. The quality and the whole interplay with the vehicle – the real acceleration and the forces that then affect the body – this just doesn’t exist anywhere else. The level of perfection as realized here is an absolute world first. I think that everyone that gets out of the car at the end – I’ve heard the expression “potentially addictive” a few times – won’t forget the experience in a hurry.

BMW M4 Competition at the BMW M Mixed RealityBMW M4 Competition at the BMW M Mixed Reality
It’s unique and at the same time indescribable. You just have to have experienced it!”
Philipp Götz

Instructor BMW M Driving Experience

What do you as driving instructor see during the drives with the M Mixed Reality technology?

I sit in the passenger seat without a MR headset, so I don’t see the same thing as the participants. Of course, I know the virtual track from experience, so I know which bend is coming up next and can react accordingly – that was a challenge for me at the beginning, as I wasn’t yet fully prepared for the course.

How do the participants get used to the MR experience? You need a bit of courage at the beginning, don’t you?

Well, in fact, people go for it right from the start – albeit with the necessary respect, they are after all sitting in a very fast BMW M4. But they can’t wait to try the Mixed Reality experience. There is the well-known issue of motion sickness when using VR goggles, along with the unsuitable, static position you take up when playing racing games. But the advantage of the M Mixed Reality is that the movements in the virtual space correspond to the real, perceived forces like acceleration, bends and braking – one to one, without any delay. Add to that reference points like your hands on the steering wheel, which remain visible at all times and the result is that, as an instructor, I have never experienced a single case of motion sickness in participants.

BMW M Driving Experience BMW M4 CompetitionBMW M Driving Experience BMW M4 Competition

Who are typical M Mixed Reality participants?

There isn’t really any such thing. I’ve had digital natives, who have experience with both simracing and VR. For them, M Mixed Reality was the logical next step. But I’ve also had older people who’d never worn a MR headset or played a game in their lives, but who had the time of their lives and who coped with the technology just fine.

How do you give your instructions, do you sit alongside the participants in the vehicle or do you help remotely?

When the visual experience is played to the participants via the MR headset, we use the standard audio system in BMW M models for the acoustic accompaniment in terms of music or sound effects. That allows me as instructor to talk to them normally and give directions – but normally, people get their bearings by themselves. Thanks to the size of the site on which the M Mixed Reality Experience takes place, there are no problems as regards run-off areas. And if I do have to intervene, I can use the brakes, but that hasn’t happened yet.

What maps can the participants drive in?

At the moment there’s only one map, a racetrack which can be driven at the Experience. It’s an interpretation of M Town. For the future, there are of course lots more tracks and game modes possible – so stay tuned!

 

Have the first challenges surfaced or do new ideas for training courses or components come up during the initial training runs?

Almost everyone who takes the M Mixed Reality Experience gets out of the car not only with a lot of adrenaline in their blood, but also lots of ideas as to what else you could do with this technology. It ranges from depicting other, possibly even real, racetracks, via virtual changes to the car you’re sitting in to the completely free creation of the world you drive in and the objects you have to collect on the road. Including online modes, in which you can compete in Multiplayer mode or together with a community. The sky is the limit, as far as creativity is concerned. Of course, we’re still in development, but you can expect a lot of contents to come!

PHILIPP GÖTZ.

Philipp Götz, Driving InstructorPhilipp Götz, Driving Instructor

Instructor since: 2017 
Favourite BMW M vehicle: BMW M3 (G80) 
Favourite BMW M Driving Experience: BMW M Drift Training 
Motto: Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show! 
Your wish for our customers: This experience opens up new worlds and everyone should have the chance to experience them.

BMW M MIXED REALITY.BMW M MIXED REALITY.

BMW M MIXED REALITY.

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BMW M4 Competition Coupé:
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 223–219 (WLTP)
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 9.9–9.7 (WLTP)

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