It’s here at last! The new BMW iDrive is ready to take the user-vehicle relationship to the next level. We look at what the progressive BMW iDrive has to offer.

The BMW Group is taking driver-vehicle interaction into the digital future – with the new BMW iDrive. The latest generation of the system once again sets standards in intelligent yet simple vehicle control. It enables the vehicle to take on an active role in the dialogue with occupants to create new and unique moments of surprise. It will make its debut this year, in the forthcoming BMW iX, and later in the new BMW i4.

New control concept and design

The new BMW iDrive is fully designed for voice and touch control. The most striking new addition is the BMW Curved Display, which merges the screen areas of the information and control displays to a single unit. Rather than being purely about functional aspects, the graphical user interfaces are also particularly clear, detailed and artistic, right down to the last pixel. The established central iDrive Controller on the centre console is now a minimalist touch controller, redesigned for the BMW iX with an elegant, glass-effect look. The number of buttons and switches has been reduced by almost half, while control clusters for relevant, frequently used, basic functions remain where customers expect to find them.


The display behind the steering wheel offers three layout types and allows the driver to switch between widgets. The “Drive” layout provides the perfect balance of information and content. The “Focus” layout, for particularly fast-changing driving situations, presents current travel information in particularly detailed form. And “Gallery” frees up as much space as possible for widget content. The Curved Display is complemented by the BMW Head-Up display with optimised graphics.

On the broad, elongated, right-hand side of the display the widgets are lined up in an unbroken ribbon to provide a quick, clear overview of relevant information at all times on aspects such as navigation, telephony, weather, traffic and the particularly aesthetic Media Player. The widgets are easily activated via touch control and can be positioned and configurated as desired.

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant becomes a character

The new BMW iDrive also brings additional capabilities to the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. As the vehicle’s central interface for human-machine interaction, this now offers even more natural dialogue. It also shows its state of activity through gestures, expressed via spheres of light in different sizes and brightness levels. This visuality also gives the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant a kind of focus point and, with it, a line of vision. The Assistant appears wherever it is needed, turning to the driver or passenger as required. And with its access to additional information and functions, it responses are more context-related to better support the occupants.

A sensory experience.

The new BMW iDrive allows an even more intense driving experience, with changes the customer can feel, see and hear. It’s all made possible by the three new My Modes. These can be selected by voice command or via the dedicated button on the centre console that extends the Driving Experience Control with new functions. When activated, My Modes adapt a multitude of functions and settings to offer perfect support for the driver and create a unique ambience in the car, from acceleration to layouts, artworks, colours and ambient lighting, and the engine/motor sound. Efficient Mode is geared towards sustainable driving and creates a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Sport Mode, by contrast, configures the vehicle characteristics and display for maximum driving pleasure. With Personal Mode the customer can configure their own My Mode via a range of settings options.

Vehicle welcomes driver

“Great Entrance Moments” is about the perfectly configured customer experience, from approaching the vehicle to driving off. While the customer merely opens the door and starts the car (after buckling up first, of course!), the vehicle offers perfect support every step of the way – from the dynamic play of light inside and outside the vehicle, to doors that automatically unlock (also via the BMW Digital Key Plus with UWB), the ‘welcome’ animation, the loading of personal preferences, and the smartphone connection.

(Even more) personal.

With the new BMW iDrive, customers benefit from an increasingly personal user experience based on their BMW ID. In the future, they will be able to save even more preferences in their BMW ID and conveniently transfer them from one vehicle to another.

BMW Maps – all in one.

The BMW Operating System 8 fully integrates digital services for navigation, parking and charging into the cloud-based BMW Maps system, whose intelligent functions will be further expanded. This means that BMW Maps uses the habits associated with the individual BMW ID, for example, to learn and anticipate the driver’s next likely destination, and proactively warn of any delays or hazards on the route, even when navigation is not active.

The best climate is in a BMW

The full range of temperature and comfort functions are now intelligently controlled together. Any adjustments made are registered by the system and saved in the user profile via the BMW ID. BMW’s intelligent climate control system is arguably the first such highly interconnected air conditioning system in the automotive industry.

BMW Operating System 8 opens up new possibilities

The foundation of the new BMW iDrive is the all-new BMW Operating System 8, which handles even more tasks and functions and will be constantly enhanced and updated via Remote Software Upgrade. The BMW Group is a key driver in the field of over-the-air upgrades and 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.

What started 20 years ago with the launch of a press-and-turn controller and digital display has now become a holistic, personal, intelligent and intuitive multisensory experience. And that’s what the new BMW iDrive is all about.

CES 2022