Dezeen promotion: the all-electric BMW iX showcases the latest development of the BMW iDrive system, intended to transport driver-vehicle interaction into a new digital and intelligent age.
Making its debut in the upcoming BMW iX sports activity vehicle (SAV), the improved iDrive system is designed to improve the dialogue between the user and their vehicle, and tailor multiple functions to the driver's needs.
The digital system has been rapidly developing since it was first launched in 2001, but this latest iteration offers greater integration between the car's digital and analogue technologies than ever before.
Using optimised sensors, cloud-based services and artificial intelligence, the system ensures that the vehicle has access to even more information than the driver – allowing it to make accurate predictions for every journey.
Its advanced operating system is combined with a series of "shy tech" features that include electrically powered door locks, hidden speakers and heated surfaces.
This means that the interior design could be kept highly minimal, with very few button controls.
The updated BMW iDrive operates in part through the BMW Curved Display – a new addition to the car interior that follows the company's latest design language.
This screen angles ergonomically towards the driver, showing information relevant to the current driving situation and offering intuitive touch controls.
Voice control in the form of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant has also been improved functionally and visually, to create a natural dialogue with the driver and front passenger.
The new BMW iDrive system is expected to set a benchmark for the future of the display and operating system, using "artful and unexpected" graphical interfaces to create a virtual character that the vehicle owner feels they can trust.
The BMW iX creates a unique user experience for the driver titled Great Entrance Moments. Using ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology to calculate the distance between the car and a key or smartphone, the vehicle begins a wake-up sequence and choreographed lighting display once the driver comes within three metres.
Further personalisation of the driving experience is offered by BMW ID, which securely stores users' preferred settings and allows them to be transferred between vehicles.
The latest BMW iDrive runs on the new BMW Operating System 8 platform, which receives remote software upgrades as the technology is further developed and refined.
Its many other features include automated climate control, the ability to predict where parking spaces may be available at a destination and to receive and display hazard warnings from other BMW vehicles.
The new iDrive will be rolled out gradually across all of the company's vehicle classes, making its debut in the BMW iX before also featuring in the BMW i4.
The BMW iX is due to go into production during the second half of 2021, heralding "a new age in mobility" according to the brand.
More information about the BMW iX can be found on BMW's website.
This article was written by Dezeen for BMW as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.