BMW has updated the iDrive system with a new home screen with clearly arranged functions tailored to the latest curved display.
QuickSelect provides an improved menu structure which takes its cues from consumer electronics devices.
The new system will be gradually introduced in current models during 2023.
The new system offers broader digital content for information and entertainment, shorter function update cycles, better information on charging points for electric vehicles and improved access to online services.
With new graphical interface and optimised menu structure, iDrive will in future focus on interaction by using the touchscreen and natural language, the automaker said.
The BMW Curved Display will continue to serve as the point of interaction for the multi-sensory BMW iDrive experience.
The latest iDrive turns the curved display home screen into a permanently viewable user interface. Other individually configurable graphics can also be displayed as an alternative to map view.
A new zero layer principle shows all relevant functions and information on a single level, making it possible to select a desired function without having to enter a submenu first.
Instead, live widgets appear in a vertical arrangement on the driver’s side of the user interface. These can be selected with a swipe of the finger and also configured individually. QuickSelect functionality makes it possible to directly select entertainment programmes, contact lists and vehicle settings, start interaction with the intelligent personal assistant or activate other menu options, all by touch. Once relevant settings have been chosen, a tap on the home icon at the lower edge of the display returns to the home screen.
The new, flat menu structure makes activating functions and settings much faster and simpler.
The graphical interface and menu structure feature a layout developed by BMW Group Design that is both consistent and characteristic of the brand. As a result, customers can enjoy a signature BMW user experience at all times.
The new iDrive with QuickSelect is a further development of the operating system 8 fitted in current models with curved display, and is based on the latest generation infotainment head units.
The new 8.5 operating system will be gradually introduced in all midsize, executive and luxury model ranges. It will continue to be Linux based and be combined with the largest version of curved display.
The iDrive system was first launched in 2001 with the redesigned 7 Series and was unnecessarily complex and confusing to use – it required something like 10 distinct steps just to set a single radio preset.
Its main purpose was said to be to use one display and one interactive element for as many functions as possible in order to cut down on the number of buttons, controls and displays. The original rotate and push iDrive controller was the universal control device.
Twenty years later, the digital user experience is dominated by touchpads, touch-sensitive smartphone displays and voice assistants. Swiping, tapping and speaking are the most common methods of interaction.