We were happy with the way BMW updated its iDrive 7.0 over the past year. He described it as one of the best interfaces in business and rated it above the Mercedes MBUX and the Audi MMI. Well, BMW just updated it again, and iDrive 8.0 is said to have been designed with speech recognition, natural language processing and personalization in mind.
A new graphical interface presents information in a very customizable way, but the standard views adapt it to the amount of data you want – probably a good thing with today’s information overloaded devices. For example, vehicle information can be displayed in three layouts, Focus, Driving, and Gallery, each with an increasing number of statistics thrown at your eyeballs. And when everything gets too much, a “quiet” function minimizes everything to only display the vehicle speed. The navigation system also has the modes Reduced, Adtive and Extended, depending on how full the m should be.
The BMW Personal Assistant now understands the natural dialogue so that you don’t have to feel as though you are talking to a robot. In fact, BMW says it even gives the assistant a face – an abstract group of floating circles – to provide “a clearly visible focus point and identifiable states of activity”. That face can even show you gestures and non-verbal cues that indicate it’s doing something. BMW says it “expresses various emotions and states of mind non-verbally and in human-like ways”. It even answers questions about vehicle functions and shows you where the nearest taco joint is.
The BMW ID system, which saves your seating positions, security monitoring levels and infotainment settings, can now be transferred to other iDrive 8.0 or 7.0 via the BMW network. It is also supposed to be smarter, learn your behavior and adapt to your habits the more you use the car.
All of this means using more AI that has been collected from you, but also other cars in the BMW Group’s vehicle fleet. The BMW cloud will help the system to improve functions such as ms, but also to find out sentences in natural language. Since even the climate control is controlled by the AI, you can say: “My feet are cold.” and the BMW assistant increases the heat for the ventilation slots in the footwell.
Over-the-air updates will also be available for iDrive 8.0, in addition to what BMW said about a more comprehensive integration of third-party PS. And like Audi, the new system activates a choreographed small light show when you approach and exit the car. 5G connectivity is available depending on the region.
The latest iDrive will be featured in the upcoming BMW iX and i4 EVs. You will have a curved glass display that combines the 12.3-inch information display and the 14.9-inch control display in one. We’ll have to see if it still leads the pack when we do another of our driveway tests.
A comprehensive overview of the functions of an iDrive 8.0 can be found in the press release from BMW.