The latest generation of BMW iDrive brings a new design language for the newly-developed BMW Operating System 8. Taking centre stage is a pair of widescreen displays with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment screen merged, not unlike the outgoing Mercedes-Benz MBUX.
However, unlike Mercedes-Benz, the display is curved to which BMW aptly calls the BMW Curved Display. It is angled towards the driver to provide better ergonomics.
Since the number of buttons and switches have been reduced by almost half, BMW has prioritised voice control and touch function. The upgraded BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is said to be able to engage in natural dialogue with the driver and passengers.
All of the displays have a relatively high resolution of 200 ppi. The user interface is said to have taken a minimalist approach, optimised to present the right amount of information at all times in a simple and easy-to-understand way. It’s also highly customizable to display gauges, media information, navigation, etc.
Traditionalists can rest easy knowing that the new iDrive 8 hasn’t ditched physical inputs. The rotary controller remains as well as a volume knob.
The new iDrive is capable of machine learning to provide more accurate navigation commands and even learns the driver’s habit of setting the climate control to adjust accordingly.
The new iDrive will be rolled out gradually across applicable models in the future, making its debut later this year in the BMW iX before also featuring in the BMW i4.