It will even let you say "Hey Jarvis."
BMW created a bizarre teaser video to prepare for its upcoming eighth-generation iDrive software, featuring both the new 2022 BMW iX and the first car to feature iDrive, the 2001 BMW 7 Series. Along with the all-electric iX SUV, iDrive 8 will debut in the forthcoming 2022 BMW i4 electric sedan. In anticipation of their arrival, BMW has released more details about iDrive 8, which will likely spread to the company's other models.
BMW says this new infotainment system includes advancements that deliver a more "natural interactive and holistic user experience." Though the familiar rotating knob remains, this latest version places a heavier emphasis on voice and dialogue-based interaction using natural language or touch operation on the new BMW Curved Display, featuring a 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display.
BMW says the number of buttons and switches in the iX and i4 is reduced by almost half compared to current vehicles. The center console and instrument panel have a new minimalist design, including a glass finish on the iX controller and sophisticated materials on the console.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant allows occupants to control the car using their voice. The voice command is more advanced than the current "Hey BMW" prompt because it includes a new function called BMW ID. Drivers can now change the name for their personal assistant, maybe "Jarvis" from Ironman or "KITT" from Knight Rider.
This voice command system learns from repetitive situations, then suggests how owners can more easily trigger their desired functions. If there are any early flaws in the software, BMW will improve it using over-the-air updates. These come from the built-in 5G connection and cloud network, ensuring fast download speeds. In addition to OTA updates from BMW, iDrive 8 will feature integration for third-party apps, making the experience more comprehensive.
iDrive 8 features a complete graphical overhaul with modern colors, futuristic textures and forms, and expanded use of light. BMW's goal is to make infotainment more intuitive and less distracting to the driver. Drivers can customize what shows up on their displays using a two-axis operating system operated by a thumb controller, ensuring that pertinent information is always visible at a quick glance.
BMW has baked in a ton of user customizability into this system. Vehicles with iDrive 8 will welcome owners with "Great Entrance Moments," a sequence of lighting and visual cues when a driver approaches and starts the car. Drivers can set up "My Modes" to prioritize certain car functions over others. Efficient Mode focuses on sustainable driving, Sport Mode adjusts vehicle characteristics, and Personal Mode is completely customizable.
We will have to wait to experience iDrive 8 in the upcoming iX and i4, but these features make it look promising.