Indeed, the design of BMW’s grilles has been a topic of discussion and humour among automotive enthusiasts. However, it’s important to note the design process behind these grilles and BMW’s overall design approach still involves human creativity and decision-making. 


While BMW has begun experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) in design, as stated by design boss Adrian van Hooydonk, a human designer will always be involved.

BMW has a history of experimenting with various grille designs, ranging from slim and vertical to wide and low. The brand has always offered variations in grille design, showcasing its ability to explore different styles. So, while the grilles may spark debate and opinions, BMW remains open to evolving its design language.




AI in design, particularly for elements like wheel design, allows designers to set parameters and have the computer generate ideas based on those parameters. The computer can combine design elements and present proposals faster than a human designer. However, the ultimate decision-making and artistic direction still lie with the human designer.

Van Hooydonk also mentioned BMW has tried using AI for complete car design but found it less successful. AI-generated sketches often appear attractive at first glance but need unique creativity and inspiration from a human designer’s brain. Designers typically draw inspiration from various sources, combining elements to create something new and original.


While AI already exists in various forms, such as search engine algorithms, its integration into design processes raises new questions and challenges. Van Hooydonk acknowledges that AI is a unique and evolving technology, and BMW is exploring its potential while still valuing the human touch in design.

As for the infamous grilles, BMW has a history of experimenting with various grille designs, ranging from slim and vertical to wide and low. Van Hooydonk emphasizes that the BMW brand has always offered variations in grille design, showcasing the brand’s ability to explore different styles. So, while the grilles may spark debate and opinions, BMW remains open to evolving its design language.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used in the automotive industry, and car design is no exception. AI can be used to improve the efficiency and speed of the design process and create new and innovative designs.

Pros and cons of using AI in car design:


  • Improved efficiency and speed: AI can be used to automate many of the tasks involved in car design, such as creating concept sketches, renderings, and prototypes. This can free up designers to focus on more creative aspects of the process, and it can also help to shorten the overall design time.
  • New and innovative designs: AI can be used to generate new and innovative design ideas that would not be possible for human designers to develop on their own. This can help car manufacturers to stay ahead of the competition and to create cars that are more appealing to consumers.
  • Improved safety: AI can be used to design safer cars for drivers and passengers. For example, AI can be used to design cars with features such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.
  • Reduced costs: AI can help reduce car design costs by automating many of the tasks involved in the process. This can make it more affordable for smaller companies to design and manufacture cars.
  • Optimizing existing designs: AI can also optimize existing car designs by identifying areas where they can be improved for performance, safety, or aesthetics. This can help save time and money in the design process and lead to the creation of safer and more efficient vehicles.
  • Personalizing designs: AI can also be used to personalize car designs for individual customers. This can be done by considering factors such as the customer’s preferences, lifestyle, and driving habits. This can help to create a more enjoyable and personalized driving experience for customers.


  • Cost: AI can be a costly investment, especially for smaller companies.
  • Complexity: AI can be a complex technology to implement, and it can be difficult to find and train the right people to use it.
  • Potential for bias: AI systems can be biased, which could lead to creating cars that are not appealing to specific groups of people.
  • Job losses: As AI becomes more sophisticated, it is possible that some jobs in the automotive design industry could be lost to automation. This is because AI can be used to perform many of the tasks currently done by human designers, such as generating ideas, optimizing designs, and creating prototypes.
  • Loss of creativity: Some people argue that using AI in car design could lead to a loss of creativity in the industry. This is because AI is limited by the data it is trained on, and it may not be able to come up with truly original ideas.

AI has the potential to revolutionize car design. However, some challenges must be addressed before the automotive industry can fully adopt AI.

Some examples of how AI is already being used in car design:

  • General Motors is using AI to create concept sketches for new cars. The company’s AI system can generate thousands of sketches based on a few simple parameters, such as the type of car, desired style, and target market. This allows GM designers to explore a wide range of possibilities quickly and to find the best design for a new model.
  • Volkswagen is using AI to design car interiors. The company’s AI system can analyze data from customer surveys and focus groups to identify the most critical features of car buyers. This information is then used to design functional and appealing interiors.
  • Tesla is using AI to improve the safety of its cars. The company’s AI system is constantly monitoring the road for potential hazards. If it detects a hazard, it can warn the driver or even take control of the car to avoid an accident.

These are just a few examples of how AI is used in car design. As the technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and groundbreaking applications of AI in the automotive industry.

Source: Top Gear


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