In recent years, electric cars have really been making major waves in the news with manufacturers suddenly waking up and trying to catch up with Tesla. On that note, most of the new vehicle launches have added a massive iPad looking tablet smack center in the console, with differences being the position it is placed: Landscape or Vertical. Well, BMW have just announced their new BMW iDrive which will debut first on their all-electric BMW iX and i4. BMW have taken the idea of a center screen to the next level, and added a touch of class to it and even called it the BMW Curved Display.
Powering iDrive is their new BMW Operating System 8, and is designed to focus on the two-way interaction by touch and voice. There is also the ‘Great Entrance Moments’ that brings out the bells and whistles when you jump in your car as a ‘welcome their friend’. This system recognizes 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.
Design approach and operating concept
The BMW iX all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle was developed from the inside out. It’s the same story with the user experience for the new BMW iDrive. The wishes of those travelling in the iX underpin how the user experience is designed – in all its facets and for all the senses.
The BMW Curved Display is technically two displays, 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display. that are merged with precision that it passes off as one giant screen.
If you’re a BMW loyalists or current driver, you’ll still find those frequently used basic functions in familiar spots, however, the number of switches and buttons have been cut by almost half.
The control panels on the center console and instrument panel have an all-new, clear and minimalist design. The familiar iDrive Controller is in the center console and is designed in a smart glass-effect finish for the iX – yep, it looks like you can see through it.
Graphical user interface
The new generation of BMW iDrive has some neat graphics, modern colors, futuristic textures and forms, and the user interface has been optimized to present the right amount of information at all times. All of the displays have an extremely high graphic resolution of 200 ppi.
The extensive individualization options available for the screens in the display area behind the steering wheel can be selected extremely quickly and easily via the function keys on the steering wheel. The two-axis operating system enables user-friendly vertical list navigation with the rotating key, as well as toggling between menus by tilting horizontally. 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. In the Drive layout, drivers can use a dynamically changing area in the center of the information display to show individually selectable information. The Focus layout, meanwhile, has been designed for extremely dynamic driving situations. By contrast, the Gallery layout largely minimizes the driving information view to clear as much space as possible for widget content.
Greater personalization using the BMW ID.
When using the new BMW iDrive, customers benefit from increasing personalization of the user experience based on the BMW ID. In future, it will be possible to securely store even more personalized 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 customized 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.
A warm welcome from vehicle to driver: Great Entrance Moments.
“Great Entrance Moments” is the name given to the user experience from the point when the driver first approaches the vehicle until the journey commences. All steps are orchestrated by the vehicle to optimum effect and blended into an inspiring overall experience.
Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology is key to enabling all of this. It allows precision location pinpointing between vehicle and the key or smartphone, meaning that the car knows exactly where the driver is approaching from and how far away they are to within a few centimeters. As soon as the distance drops below three meters, the vehicle starts to wake up and indicates this with a gradually intensifying, dynamic lighting effect using the exterior lights. A soft, subdued light comes on in the cabin. The vehicle shows the customer the way to the entrance area, which is lit up by a light carpet in the vicinity of the driver’s door featuring geometric forms inspired by the elements of the graphical user interface. At the same time, the door handles and boot lid handle are illuminated to make it easier for the customer to take hold of them.
Once the driver moves to within one-and-a-half meters, the vehicle unlocks no matter whether they are carrying their UWB key or a smartphone with BMW Digital Key Plus. Opening a door activates the seat’s entry assistance feature along with the surface and steering wheel heating. The entire BMW Curved Display is taken up by a BMW-style welcome animation that shows the system is starting up.
The personal settings from the BMW ID are loaded and a connection is established with the driver’s smartphone while they are still getting into the car. If a phone call is in progress, it will be seamlessly transferred to the vehicle’s microphone and speakers. Meanwhile, the control display shows a welcome window with a personal greeting and useful suggestions and information.
The new My Modes feature ensures an all-encompassing user experience geared towards the driver’s personal preferences, creating unique moments for both the driver and their passengers.
The initial version of My Modes will combine up to ten different parameters in the vehicle. These parameters include the previous driving experience mode functions, such as drive system and transmission control, steering characteristics and chassis settings. The activated configuration is indicated by variations in the artwork specially developed for My Modes, the style and layout of the displays, and a change in the display color, which adapts to the experience setting in the same way as the ambient lighting. Switching between My Modes produces acoustic changes, too, including adjustment of the engine/motor sound.
The new BMW iDrive system will be launched with these Efficient, Sport and Personal Modes. Further modes will be added as part of the ongoing development of BMW iDrive in the future.