The 8 Gen BMW iDrive is unveiled, relies entirely on artificial intelligence (AI)

15 March 2021, 11:46:51

The 8 Gen BMW iDrive is unveiled, relies entirely on artificial intelligence (AI)The new generation of BMW iDrive has just been unveiled in a short online event and a lengthy press release. This system enables the vehicle to actively engage in its relationship with the driver and passenger, 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 next-gen BMW Drive includes 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 BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is at the base of human-machine interaction. It focuses on dialogue-based interaction using natural language and touch operation via the BMW Curved Display and adjusts to the driver's needs and current situation. And then there is "Great Entrance Moments", which brings emotionality 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.

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. The "Act, Locate and Inform" principle, which ensures information is distributed clearly and screen redundancy is avoided, takes the signature BMW driver orientation of the cockpit design to a new level. Pre-filtering ensures that only information relevant to the driving situation is presented to the driver – and always shown where they can absorb it as quickly and easily as possible.

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.

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 colors, 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 color and modern color worlds. All of the displays have an extremely high graphic resolution of 200 ppi. The driver can switch between three layout types and various different widgets according to personal preference or the driving situation at hand – by thumb control and in just a few operating steps.

The new generation of BMW iDrive also brings additional skills for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. In order to strengthen the personal connection between the digital companion and the vehicle occupants, users can still give the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant a name of their choice, which they then use as a prompt. In communication between people, a great deal of information is conveyed non-verbally. The new visualisation approach for the assistant features spheres of light in differing sizes and brightness levels, giving it more space and new ways of expressing itself. This visual image also gives it a “face” with a clearly visible point of focus and identifiable states of activity via gestures. Using an extensive requirements and evaluation catalogue, a visualisation form was chosen from a selection of over 100 design approaches. It has a trustworthy and appealing aura and displays the dynamism required to be able to express different emotions and states of mind non-verbally and in a human-like manner.

Advances have also been made in the functionality of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. An expanded pool of underlying data and information has not only made the digital assistant more intelligent, it has also enabled it to act according to context. It can take into account the situation in the vehicle and its surroundings when considering when and how it will communicate with those on board. The personal assistant follows the shy tech principle of design in terms of how and where it is visible. When it is spoken to, it appears in a fluid animation and spreads out engagingly over the displays, without concealing relevant information. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant can distinguish who is talking to it and appears on the relevant screen area. A widget designed specially for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant enables rapid access to other settings and suggestions. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will also learn new functions and new forms of expression as the ongoing development of BMW iDrive continues. These new features are regularly imported into the vehicle by means of Remote Software Upgrade.

When using the new BMW iDrive, customers benefit from increasing personalisation of the user experience based on the BMW ID. In future, it will be possible to securely store even more personalised settings in the BMW ID and transfer them between vehicles. A PIN code can be created or the BMW ID associated with a particular key to prevent other vehicle users from accessing personal data. When the BMW ID has been loaded, the driver will receive a personal greeting which will include the customised profile image that can be uploaded in the My BMW App. Once the BMW ID has been activated with the associated key or by selecting the BMW ID in the vehicle, the personal settings are instantly adopted.

With the arrival of the new BMW Operating System 8, the digital services for navigation, parking and charging are fully integrated into the cloud-based BMW Maps system in a user-friendly way. The intelligent functions of BMW Maps are also being expanded further.

One of the key functions here is "Learning Navigation", meaning that BMW Maps uses the habits associated with the individual BMW ID as the basis for learning and anticipating the destination the driver is likely to head for next. This saves drivers the trouble of entering the destination again for regular journeys, especially the daily commute to work, when they nevertheless wish to be alerted to delays or hazards along their route. All of the learned destinations can be viewed from the vehicle and in the My BMW App, and deleted if desired.

Control of the air conditioning system will be incorporated into the BMW Curved Display in future, as customers should seldom need to adjust any of the climate control settings. To make this possible, all temperature and comfort functions will now be intelligently controlled together. Each further adjustment is registered by the system and stored in the user profile for the BMW ID so that users do not have to keep making the same adjustments. Based on the individual user settings in the air conditioning menu, the intelligent climate control automatically regulates and operates all the available features itself. Voice commands can also be used to communicate various requirements directly.

BMW Operating System 8 is the most powerful and extensive technology stack ever created by BMW. It forms the basis for the eighth generation and new interpretation of BMW iDrive. The BMW Group has been developing the central control unit and software integration platform entirely on Linux and in-house since 2013. Having complete control over software is crucial for creating a stable, upgradeable, high-quality system that distinguishes the brand. In the era of fast-paced digital development, it is no longer enough to completely update a model’s digital features every three years.

The arrival of Remote Software Upgrade means the vehicle is now conceived as a digital platform. So, when a new-generation BMW Operating System is launched, the development work is far from finished. Instead, it acts as the basis for ongoing development during the product life cycle. The integrated interaction between hardware and software, the technical possibilities offered by Remote Software Upgrade and the company’s agile development processes underpin its ability to make new functions accessible to the customer in a matter of a few months or even weeks.

Remote Software Upgrade for BMW Operating System 8 will offer the possibility of performing extremely complex and large software updates in areas such as driving assistance and partial automation. BMW Operating System 8 will additionally allow customers to schedule the installation of a Remote Software Upgrade. The BMW Group is one of the key players in the field of over-the-air function upgrades. By 2020 it was already carrying out the largest upgrade campaigns of any European carmaker. And the BMW Group has set itself the goal of having the largest over-the-air upgradeable fleet of any manufacturer in the world by the end of 2021. By that time, a total of over 2.5 million vehicles from the BMW brand will be able to receive Remote Software Upgrades.

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2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Launch Edition

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Electric motor: 150 kW, 360 Nm, Location: Front
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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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Electric motor: 150 kW, 360 Nm, Location: Front
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2021 Volkswagen ID.3

2021 Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S Tour

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2021 Volkswagen ID.3

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2021 Hyundai KONA Electric

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2021 Tesla Model 3

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2021 Tesla Model 3

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Doors: 4, Seats: 5
Length: 184.8 in / 4694 mm
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