The all-new intelligent BMW iDrive

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The all-new BMW iDrive

The new generation iDrive is a more intuitive, personal and inspiring that serves as a digital, intelligent ad proactive partner to drivers. The iDrive offers the new BMW Operating System 8 alongside a variety of new generation displays, controls and software. The new iDrive will be rolled out across all vehicle classes but makes its debut later this year within the BMW iX, and then will feature in the BMW i4.

The iDrive is an Intelligent Personal Assistant which can adjust to the driver’s individual needs, all done through a central operating channel. The system will use natural language and touch operations via the display and is built with a clear focus on dialogue-based interactions. The iDrive will bring a customer experience like no other, by welcoming the driver into the vehicle and then being ready for an ultimate human-machine interaction. This is enabled by Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology, pinpointing the vehicle to the driver via key or smartphone. The system will constantly process self-generated data from information obtained online and through imported data, whilst receiving regular over-the-air improvements.


In terms of design the iDrive has a user interface which is not only functional but clear, rich in detail and visually appealing. Analogue and digital boundaries fade away with a unique experience, enhanced with a precisely designed display. The BMW Curved Display is the most distinctive design feature, allowing the driver to have information and controls in an all new display layout. Prioritised as usage options are the voice control and touch functions, with the number of buttons to be used reduced by almost half.

An impressive and integrated visual appearance has clearly been designed, with strong and eye-catching graphics, modern colours, and futuristic textures. The information display has a generously sized screen surface, with dynamic light effects and uses an impressive high graphic resolution of 200 ppi. What is displayed on the system at any one time is down to the driver, with access to the display via the steering wheel or the system itself. This allows the driver to display three different types of layouts and customise widgets according to personal preference. Each display available has its own distinctive character, which are all colour-coordinated, three-dimensional and uses light reflections for extra dynamism.

BMW iDrive
BMW iDrive

Navigation, climate control and third-party apps

Points of interest, as well as the traffic situation on side roads and the current parking situation are all accessible through the new function known as “Learning Navigation”. The function allows the all-new iDrive to learn and memorise personal preferences to destinations and particular driving habits.

The control of the vehicles air conditioning system will be integrated into the BMW Curved Display and set up so the driver does not need to re-adjust. Although there are settings available to access for drivers, there will be a pre-set already configured into the system and is based on information from more than 440 million customer journeys across all model classes. The intelligent and automatic climate control regulates the heating provided in the steering wheel, surfaces, seating, and vehicle ventilation. Voice commands are also integrated and allow the driver to notify the vehicle when to heat up certain features.

Furthermore, the iDrive will have new opportunities for seamless incorporation of third-party apps. Allowing the interaction between driver and vehicle improved immensely when using apps such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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