BMW’s iDrive 8 system, which debuted on the iX and i4, is still rather new and is only recently beginning to appear on all BMW vehicles in Malaysia. However, BMW has already upgraded its iDrive with a system called QuickSelect and it is now being rolled out with BMW Operating System 8.5 across selected models.
With the latest system, BMW is giving its iDrive systems an increased emphasis on touch and voice commands. While the renowned and now-loved rotary dial will remain in certain models, it is going to eventually be removed from a lot of them.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will get new capabilities in all BMW cars that come with BMW Operating System 8.5 or can be updated with the system in later cars. The digital companion will be able to recommend turning off the speed limiter, going into Sport mode, or turning on the Assisted Driving Modes based on the vehicle’s specifications and the current driving condition. The seat position can also be changed using verbal cues. A single spoken order can activate the Max Range function and operate the BMW IconicSounds Electric in completely electric vehicles that meet the necessary specifications.
The new BMW iDrive 8.5 is mainly touchscreen-focused and is made to be much easier to use than ever before, regardless of the rotary dial.
To do away with submenus is the major goal of iDrive 8.5 and its new QuickSelect capability. BMW refers to this approach as a zero-layer philosophy so that customers can access more advanced commands with fewer inputs. Large vertical widgets that can display all of the numerous menu options will be used to lay out all of the main menus on the screen. After completing one of those menus, the user can quickly return to the home screen by pressing the fixed home screen icon in the lower portion of the screen.
BMW promises that this new flat menu design will make using iDrive 8.5 easier, faster, and more intuitive, however, it is still a little vague on the specific capabilities.
Starting this mid-year, BMW will start distributing iDrive 8.5 on a limited number of models, either at the time of production or via over-the-air updates. The following models will receive iDrive 8.5:
• BMW 7 Series
• BMW iX
• BMW i4
• BMW X5
• BMW X6
• BMW X7
• BMW XM
On newer cars with an updated Android-based operating system, the new iDrive 9 will start to appear. Except for a few minor new capabilities that are exclusive to the Android OS, its user experience will be essentially the same. The Mini Countryman and BMW X1/X2 will be the first vehicles to receive iDrive 9. Later, iDrive 9 will also be the foundation for all ‘Neue Klasse’ models.