BMW’s all-new iDrive.

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20 years ago BMW introduced its iDrive interface and its infamous rotary dial controller that early adopters loved but traditionalists found frustrating. Over time we got used to the interface and now BMW has revised it completely. BMW says its new iDrive ‘is now an all-encompassing, intelligent, multi-sensory experience tailored to the user at hand. It brings about another paradigm shift – this time to a natural dialogue between the user and their vehicle: more intuitive, personal and inspiring, but also engaging on an emotional level’. I’m scared of it already!!!

BMW goes on to say ‘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.

Underpinning the unique user experience are the new BMW Operating System 8, a new generation of displays, controls and software, and extremely powerful connectivity and data processing. The new iDrive will be rolled out gradually across all vehicle classes, making its debut later this year in the BMW iX before also featuring in the BMW i4.
The ability of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to adjust to the driver’s individual needs and routines, as well as the situation at hand, makes it – more than ever – a central operating channel of human-machine interaction. The operating system is designed with a clear focus on dialogue-based interaction using natural language and touch operation via the BMW Curved Display. And then there is “Great Entrance Moments”, which brings emotion to the relationship between driver and vehicle even before the driver climbs on board. This new customer experience welcomes the driver and invites them into the vehicle with a thoroughly choreographed routine. During the journey, the new My Modes use an all-encompassing interplay of various functions to conjure special moments from a combination of vehicle characteristics and the interior ambience adapted to the situation at hand.

The new BMW iDrive constantly processes a large quantity of self-generated data, information available online and data imported from the BMW Group vehicle fleet to implement the driver’s wishes in a context-related way. Paving the way for even greater personalisation is the BMW ID. This system recognises repetitive situations, learns from them and provides suggestions on how functions can be activated accordingly. Remote Software Upgrade allows the new BMW iDrive to benefit from regular over-the-air improvements, integrate additional functions and stay up to date at all times.’

At Motorhub we look forward to getting hands-on (or less so) with this new bit of technology in the near future.

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About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael is Motorhub's Editor. Well known from TV and radio, Michael has been writing, presenting and judging cars since the mid 90's. He is a renowned Producer/Director and documentary film maker. Dozens of credits include: The Whole Way Round (Gay Byrne), The Shamrock Run (Alan Shortt), The Viking Run (Clodagh McKenna) and The Irish 66ers (David Mitchell) and The Climb for Kids (Colin Farrell). Print credits include: the RTE Guide (motoring editor 1999-2003), many national daily papers and Sundays including The Irish Times (freelance) plus other magazines. National radio credits include multiple at RTE Gerry Ryan show, the Mooney Show, The Dave Fanning Show, Drivetime etc. TV credits as a motoring expert include RTE's flagship current affairs show Primetime and TV3's Ireland AM. Michael also presented RTE's car show Drive! in the late 90s and directed some items in MPH2 on TG4. Michael contributes weekly on motoring issues to The Last Word show with Matt Cooper on Today FM. Michael has represented Ireland's motoring journalists in Motorsport at the International Mazda MX-5 endurance race series in Italy and the Arctic Ice Race. He has been a Car of the Year Judge for 20 years, more recently a judge for Van of the Year. Michael is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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