Two decades after its debut in the 2001 7 Series, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is among the best on the market. It’s set to get better – thinking, natural language processing, gesture control and cloud-based machine learning – with the release of its latest iteration, iDrive 8, aboard the upcoming BMW iX and i4.
The system’s on-board AI, BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, will be the driver’s primary point of contact when interacting with the new iDrive 8. The driver will be able to give the IPA a custom name and then view various on-board functions and flow of information. ‘information. using verbal or non-verbal commands. The new iDrive 8 also received a sort of face, “spheres of light of different sizes and brightness levels, giving the assistant more space and new ways of expressing themselves,” according to a press release from BMW.
Drivers will also find that the iDrive 8 offers more contextual features than its predecessors. The new system will take into account external conditions such as traffic and road conditions before attempting to interact with vehicle passengers. It will also “control functions such as air conditioning, ambient lighting, audio playback, opening and closing side windows, shading of the panoramic glass roof, switching between My modes and assistance systems. to driving “so that the driver does not have to take their eyes off the road in heavy traffic conditions to find the front defroster controls on a touchscreen menu. In addition, the IPA can also provide information on the condition of the vehicle and provide details of local points of interest.
“The future will be with fewer switches,” BMW CTO Frank Weber said in an online panel discussion Monday. “But it won’t be without a switch.”
My Modes is another new feature in iDrive 8, which replaces the old driving experience controls. It allows the driver to customize and activate up to ten vehicle settings with a single group of commands. Preset modes include Efficient, which prioritizes fuel efficiency and a calming interior; Sport, which stimulates acceleration and handling; and Personal, which is what you want it to be. Additional modes will eventually be made available to the BMW community via future OTA updates using the vehicle’s in-vehicle 5G connectivity.
The iDrive’s various monitors and gauges will appear on BMW’s new curved display, which combines a 12.3-inch 200 dpi information screen instead of the traditional control group and a 14.9-inch control screen. (reading, infotainment). The all-electric iX will also include a HUD, the projector of which is integrated into the steering column itself, showing the driver relevant vehicle information directly on the windshield in front of them. To ensure that the driver does not get distracted by superfluous information, BMW has adopted an “Act, Locate and Inform” principle in which “pre-filtering ensures that only information relevant to the driving situation is presented to the driver. driver and always displayed. where they can absorb it as quickly and easily as possible ”, .
The iDrive’s graphics are similarly designed for minimal driver distraction. Like previous iterations, the iDrive 8 will allow drivers to customize their various graphical displays and quickly switch between three preset menu layouts and a host of multimedia widgets using steering wheel-mounted touch buttons. These presets include Drive, which offers “a dynamically changing area in the center of the information display to show individually selectable information”; Focus, which keeps the driving gauges front and center; and Gallery, which seems like a really bad idea as it minimizes the dashboard in favor of media widgets. There is also a Quiet mode which displays the vehicle speed and nothing else.
Drivers will also be able to take their personal settings with them thanks to the new BMW ID function, which is linked to a PIN code or the driver’s MyBMW app. Simply enter the PIN or pair your app with any vehicle equipped with an iDrive 7 or 8 to immediately transfer virtually all of your preference settings to the new car – very useful if you’ve just received a dealership loan.
BMW also relies heavily on cloud-based machine learning to improve the responsiveness of the IPA as well as the navigation system of the iX. Rather than simply ingesting and regurgitating the driver’s traffic data, the new iDrive 8 has learned to calculate odds. For example, it will leverage traffic patterns around local points of interest to return more accurate ETAs. It can help drivers find open parking spaces near their destination. The same goes for the air conditioning of the vehicle. BMW has taught iDrive 8 to better anticipate the air conditioning needs of its drivers on the basis of 440 million training trips from around the world. This allows the iDrive to automatically set the optimum cabin temperature based not only on external environmental conditions, but also on the driver’s personal habits.