BMW is launching a new generation iDrive 20 years after the first unit came to life in the BMW 7 Series. What began 20 years ago with the introduction of a rotary dial and a digital display is now an all-encompassing, intelligent, multi-sensory experience tailored to the user at hand. That is what the new BMW iDrive represents.

The new generation of BMW iDrive takes the interaction between driver and vehicle into a digital future where many areas of life are getting increasingly smart. The new interpretation of BMW’s operating system equips the vehicle to actively engage in its relationship with those on board and, in so doing, serves as a digital, intelligent and proactive partner in any situation. A natural dialogue is created with the aim of precisely tailoring all the functions controlled via BMW iDrive to the driver’s needs and preferences as the situation demands.

The most distinctive new addition to the physical components on board is the BMW Curved Display, which groups together the information display and control display. This curving screen offers a futuristic interpretation of the traditional driver orientation in the cockpit design of BMW models. The BMW Curved Display is angled clearly towards the driver to good ergonomic effect, making the intuitive touch control even more straightforward. In this new BMW Curved Display, the screen areas of the 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display merge together into a single unit.

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Voice control and the touch function of the BMW Curved Display were prioritised as usage options in the development of the new BMW iDrive. The number of buttons and switches has been reduced by almost half. At the same time, control clusters for relevant and frequently used basic functions are retained where customers expect to find them. The control panels on the centre console and instrument panel have an all-new, strikingly clear and minimalist design. The familiar iDrive Controller is the central control element on the centre console. The Touch Controller, designed in an extremely smart glass-effect finish for the BMW iX, is encircled by a bezel painted in Gold Bronze.

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The new generation of BMW iDrive brings a new design language for the newly developed BMW Operating System 8. Strong and eye-catching graphics, modern colours, futuristic textures and forms, bright light and the interplay of reflections create an impressive and immersive visual appearance. At the same time, the user interface has been optimised to present the right amount of information at all times in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

The information display in the driver’s central visual axis impresses both with its generously sized screen surface and its striking forms, dynamic light effects, strong depth of colour and modern colour worlds. All of the displays have an extremely high graphic resolution of 200 ppi.

The clear structure and new arrangement logic employed for the widgets, which provide a flawless overview of the relevant information at all times, are an immediately eye-catching feature of the large, horizontally stretched control display. The widgets line up in an unbroken ribbon on the home screen. The content of the widgets is pared back to essential information and presented as a live image. Frequently used functions are shown in the widgets and can therefore be activated directly by touch. The driver is free to choose the widgets shown on the home screen and configure their order. At the same time, widgets can change depending on the context using seamless and fluid animations to show more or less information, as the situation demands.

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The newly designed media player represents a particular aesthetic highlight. Taking the “reduced to the essentials” approach a step further still and adopting a simple arrangement, the clarity of its design has a magnetic appeal. An algorithm selects the cover colour scheme of the music track currently playing and reproduces it dynamically across the display area of the media player.