BMW's new iDrive and Operating System 8 includes AI upgrades and a sleek new look
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First launched in 2001 with an introduction of a digital display and rotary dial, the iDrive has become an intelligent, all-encompassing, multi-sensory experience personalised for each user. Now, it has unveiled the latest iteration, alongside BMW Operating System 8.
"The new BMW iDrive creates a personalised connection between human and vehicle. Its totally intuitive operation via intelligent voice control, the touch-controlled Curved Display, and the Head-Up Display makes it the industry's most user-friendly and secure operating system," said Frank Weber, a member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.
You'll find a new curved floating display at the front, which starts from behind the steering wheel all the way across half of the dashboard. Which essentially merges the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment screen together. With its new upgraded software, this new iDrive features an "Act, Locate and Inform" principle, which pre-filters information and makes sure that only relevant information gets shown to allow easy and quick understanding for the driver. Other features include touch functions and voice control, along with a reduction of buttons and switches.
This new generation of iDrive brings all-new additional skills for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. One of which is the ability to express emotions and states of mind in a human-like manner. Kinda like your very own J.A.R.V.I.S — as it's smart enough to distinguish who is speaking to it and will show up on the relevant screen area. Add the widget that enables the assistant to access other settings and suggestions and you pretty much have fully-equipped AI on your hands. For instance: verbalise "my feet are cold", and the automated climate control that make sure that the footwell's temperature goes up.
If you're sharing the car, there's a personalised feature with a PIN code intact for each user to securely protect their own personal data. There's also synergy between other smart devices that you own: where the car can precisely pinpoint the user's location through the key or smartphone. Once the distance between the user and the car drops below three meters, the vehicle will automatically wake up and prepare for the user's arrival. Once the distance falls within one and a half meters, the car will unlock on its own with or without the key or smartphone. In a system dubbed 'Grand Entrance Moments", expect geometric projections, lighted door handles, and other lighting effects along the way.
That's not all. With this new Operating System 8, the functions of the BMW Maps have also levelled up. One of the key highlight features is the "Learning Navigation". This is associated with the individual's personalised ID to help learn and anticipate where the driver is likely to be headed next. This new feature will save the hassle of entering a regular destination as well as sussing out any possible road hazards and delays.