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      03-11-2021, 06:17 AM   #1
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All New BMW iDrive Makes Digital Premiere on March 15

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The iX and i4 have a new generation display and operating system.
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Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
G20, G22, G23, ICE G26, and G42 will get a new interface/infotainment/communications package, including the dash we will first see in i4. G20 will get it for LCI in 07/22, G42 in 08/22, G22, G23, and G26 in 03/23. No other existing model seems to be slated for that interface.
Digital premiere of the all new BMW iDrive will be Monday, March 15, 2021, 16:30 - 16:45 CET (10:30 a.m. EST):

https://www.live.bmwgroup.com/en/liv...IVE-14865.html

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The past, present and 5G future of BMW's iconic iDrive

We speak with BMW's Frank Weber about the origin of the company's in-car infotainment system 20 years ago, and what we can expect to see in iDrive 8.

BMW's iDrive communications and entertainment system turns 20 this year, a remarkable achievement given how many half-baked, in-dash competitors have been put out to pasture in that time. In just the last five years we've seen the rise of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the increasing ubiquity of touchscreens and the influx of active data connections, so it's amazing how many concepts put forth in that first generation of iDrive are still at play in the current version.

Yet there's a major rethink coming for what will be iDrive 8, previewed with the release of last year's BMW iX concept. Last week, I had a chance to sit down with BMW's Frank Weber to talk about the past and future of the venerable system. Interestingly, the original iDrive grew from an organizational foundation.

"Twenty years ago, BMW recognized that the future is in digital, and what is interesting is organizationally, the guys that developed interiors were also responsible for all the electric content," Weber said. "So we learned that the experience within the interior of the vehicle, that how you interact with the vehicle, that interior and electrical content have to become one."

iDrive, then, was a stab at surfacing a car's electrical subsystems in an intuitive, aesthetically pleasing way. Like the car it launched in, the 2002 BMW 7 Series, it was bold but not entirely successful. Clumsy and littered with hidden submenus and nuances, journalist Georg Kacher, writing for Automobile, called it "a true test of one's patience."

Regardless, the fundamental idea was so sound that the same basic rotary interface will live on in the upcoming flavor of iDrive 8, albeit with some significant changes. What sorts of changes? Well, for starters, how do you feel about crystals?

"In a world that is more virtual, more digital, people are longing for real interactions," Weber said. Yes, as most manufacturers are eschewing physical controls for capacitive screens, BMW is doubling down on premium materials for those remaining touch points. Tactility matters, Weber said. "Yes, there will be more speech, but for things that have more physical contact, it is very important."

Get ready to spend a lot more time talking to your BMW, too. "We have made the man-machine interface much more human. Voice control is working now very well, very fast," Weber said.

While voice is more of a focus, gesture control will not be -- though it isn't going away entirely. BMW made waves by letting drivers adjust the volume by twirling a finger, or dismiss a call with a wave of a hand. These gestures are far from universally loved, but Weber says they still have a place for some tasks.

"For example, accepting calls or finishing calls, shifting to the next song, these are very simple things," he said. "The volume we did, that is very impressive. It makes an impression, but it is already too complicated in a certain sense. When it becomes too complicated, [drivers] don't use it."

Likewise, don't expect to see any major leaps forward for augmented reality in iDrive 8. Weber referenced the company's head-up displays as providing a taste of that functionality, but he believes that AR can provide an unnecessary distraction when layered too heavily.

Powering all this is a new system of chips that BMW calls Super Brains. Five of these silicon wafers replace upwards of 100 discrete processors in previous BMWs, vastly simplifying the internal architecture of the car and, presumably, boosting performance as well. Weber declined to provide any further details on the composition or sourcing of these chips, but hopefully his company can manage a stable supply.

5G will also be onboard to boost the wireless performance of the next generation of cars, giving a 40-times increase in bandwidth. This can only help over-the-air updates go more smoothly, because you know those files aren't getting any smaller.

More importantly, though, advanced connectivity will help tie together BMW's network of vehicles. "We are using the entire BMW fleet as an input on when you make decisions on route, on navigation, on speed, on traffic, on everything," Weber said. "We have the largest connected fleet in the world."

It's a far cry from the advanced, brand-agnostic, vehicle-to-vehicle networks we've been waiting on for decades, but it's at least a start. And, Weber says, it'll all be locked behind a comprehensive security system. "At BMW we feel that data privacy, data security, is part of your premium promise in a vehicle."

With so much focus on crash safety in vehicles, it is of course encouraging to hear a similar emphasis placed upon both the safety and sanctity of your data. It sounds like an almost Apple-like approach to customer data, but don't worry: Google's Android Auto will still be supported in iDrive 8. CarPlay will be, too. In fact, they'll be better integrated than ever, made easier to get into and out of so that you can enjoy everything else BMW's system has to offer, all waiting for you on the other end of a little, crystal disc.
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/b...e-8-interview/

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      03-11-2021, 10:02 AM   #2
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So is there a new iDrive system every year now?

I've lost track since the first NBT units came out in 2015(?).
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      03-11-2021, 10:03 AM   #3
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Hopefully it has a better rollout than idrive7.
That was rough, so many issues, noone to turn to. Lack of transparency and information.
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      03-11-2021, 10:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrOhnoez View Post
Hopefully it has a better rollout than idrive7.
That was rough, so many issues, noone to turn to. Lack of transparency and information.
Expect this to probably be a build up upon of the current system. Hopefully more customizable displays.
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      03-11-2021, 10:17 AM   #5
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I am rather curious to see the interface.
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but it seems ID7 introduced usage of the 'up' arrow or push upwards to get to more menus, as compared to ID6
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      03-11-2021, 10:30 AM   #6
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Any chances this gets pushed to '20 / '21 models?
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      03-11-2021, 10:35 AM   #7
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If I had to bet, I'd say this will be available only for cars from late 2021 and onwards, like they did for iDrive 6. If they struggle still to rollout a simple incremental update, I doubt they're ready to launch full blown OS upgrades for thousands of cars.
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      03-11-2021, 10:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by am3r1ka View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrOhnoez View Post
Hopefully it has a better rollout than idrive7.
That was rough, so many issues, noone to turn to. Lack of transparency and information.
Hopefully more customizable displays.
Hopefully someone at BMW is listening to this. The gauges suck, even in the M cars, the tachometer specifically. Whoever designed them has probably never driven a car spiritedly before. It shouldn't be that hard to add some new visuals since its all software, otherwise the whole move to a digital display was pointless. Economy cars are coming out with better gauge clusters. Just give us a normal looking gauge cluster BMW!
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      03-11-2021, 10:48 AM   #9
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would be cool if it opened it up to create your own personal gauges etc..
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      03-11-2021, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaptainKloss View Post
Any chances this gets pushed to '20 / '21 models?
Likely zip. There are significant hardware changes each time they go to a new iDrive version, so it isn't just like a new skin they can flash in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFFRR View Post
would be cool if it opened it up to create your own personal gauges etc..
That could be cool if they have a number of preset gauges and styles that the user could combine in various ways. If they were to open this up to custom (third party) designs, they're losing brand cohesion and introducing a very high likelihood of display problems dealers will end up having to fix.
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      03-11-2021, 11:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFFRR View Post
would be cool if it opened it up to create your own personal gauges etc..
I'd be shocked. Dont forget TSLA recently had a recall forced because they let people in US change gauge from mph to kmph.

https://www.autoblog.com/2021/01/16/...fCtsTzHi77COrZ
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      03-11-2021, 11:26 AM   #12
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"largest connected fleet in the world"

"G20, G22, G23, ICE G26, and G42"

Cumulatively BMW outsells Tesla, for sure. But as far as models with this new connectivity? Pretty sure Tesla has a larger "connected" fleet for now.
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      03-11-2021, 12:44 PM   #13
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At least we will finally be able to see the finished design before its available on a car.Hopefully it looks better than the test mule pics.
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      03-11-2021, 12:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalAthlete View Post
"largest connected fleet in the world"

"G20, G22, G23, ICE G26, and G42"

Cumulatively BMW outsells Tesla, for sure. But as far as models with this new connectivity? Pretty sure Tesla has a larger "connected" fleet for now.
Depends on what level of "connectivity" you're looking at. BMWs have been anonymously (when granted permission in-car by the driver) contributing to things like traffic flow info, info on potentially dangerous sections of road, driving aid triggers and usage, iDrive/infotainment usage, and other related aspects for years now and almost across the whole lineup, ever since iDrive 5.

He said they have the largest connected fleet in the world, not will have with those models.
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      03-11-2021, 01:29 PM   #15
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So I guess since the new cars will have these fancy wafers, they can't OTA update prior cars?
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      03-11-2021, 02:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaptainKloss View Post
Any chances this gets pushed to '20 / '21 models?
I drive versions never just get "updated" to other cars.
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      03-11-2021, 02:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
So is there a new iDrive system every year now?

I've lost track since the first NBT units came out in 2015(?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
So is there a new iDrive system every year now?

I've lost track since the first NBT units came out in 2015(?).
No, the current head unit is actually an MGU18, they run on a 3 year cadence give or take
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      03-11-2021, 02:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by snareman View Post
So I guess since the new cars will have these fancy wafers, they can't OTA update prior cars?
How else would they bribe you to upgrade to the latest?
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      03-11-2021, 03:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidoff86 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
So is there a new iDrive system every year now?

I've lost track since the first NBT units came out in 2015(?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
So is there a new iDrive system every year now?

I've lost track since the first NBT units came out in 2015(?).
No, the current head unit is actually an MGU18, they run on a 3 year cadence give or take
So they just re-skin it?
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      03-11-2021, 03:30 PM   #20
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no, it's a new ECU. but it's a bit like in 2015, then they replaced the NBT headunit with the NBT EVO
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      03-11-2021, 05:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PABrian View Post
Depends on what level of "connectivity" you're looking at. BMWs have been anonymously (when granted permission in-car by the driver) contributing to things like traffic flow info, info on potentially dangerous sections of road, driving aid triggers and usage, iDrive/infotainment usage, and other related aspects for years now and almost across the whole lineup, ever since iDrive 5.

He said they have the largest connected fleet in the world, not will have with those models.
Fair point, thanks, though Tesla has been doing the same as well.

Regardless I think they're both leading the pack when it comes to that stuff and I'd rather have a BMW than a Tesla...
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      03-11-2021, 06:39 PM   #22
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The original 8th generation iDrive is coming next week. Why is BMW promoting it with great fanfare?
Following BMWs previous announcement of the pure electric SUV iX in November 2020 and the first to reveal some of the new-generation iDrive information at the 2021 CEC show, the original BMW factory recently announced that it will officially announce the new-generation iDrive at 11pm Beijing time on March 15th. The system, which is expected to be called iDrive 8, focuses on curved screens, AI artificial intelligence, Digital Key Plus ultra-wideband digital keys, and a more intuitive human-computer interaction interface, presenting a different operating layout from the current iDrive 7.0 system. This new generation of iDrive system will be the first to be equipped with the iX electric SUV, which will be launched in 2022, and the mass production version i4 that has not yet been officially released.

The original BMW Z9 concept car debuted in the iDrive system in 1999. In 2001, the E65/E66 generation 7 Series was equipped with the first generation iDrive based on the Windows CE architecture. It has been 20 years since the release of iDrive. Although the initial launch is facing doubts from outsiders It is too complicated and the operation is not as intuitive as the traditional button. However, through the subsequent changes in the system's multi-generational evolution, BMW iDrive has become the current benchmark man-machine operating system in luxury brand cars.

Especially after BMW made a drastic update to the iDrive interface for the first time in 2008, replacing the more complicated operation interface design of the previous iDrive system, the interface after iDrive 4.0 has gradually gained praise from consumers and all walks of life. However, BMWs update to the iDrive system did not stop there. Subsequent additions brought iDrive 4.0++ (2012) with refined line-up interface, iDrive 5.0++ with graphical logic and increased touch and gesture operation functions. 2015), iDrive 6.0 (2016) and other versions that strengthen the online network information sharing function.

In June 2018, BMW further announced the current iDrive 7.0 interface installed in G05 X5, G06 X6, G20 3 Series, G30 5 Series, and G11/G12 7 Series. BMW Operating System 7 said that the main feature of iDrive 7.0 at the time was the removal of the "double-ring traditional physical fixed frame" of the digital instrument, and the emphasis on the personalized style of the central touch screen interface, and the introduction of BIPA (BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant) ) Smart voice voice control system, users only need to say "Hello, BMW!" and other wake-up words to be able to set related vehicles, set navigation destinations, and even perform functions such as networked information query. In addition, it had OTA (Over The Air) cloud software updates and cloud store expansion functions such as the engine virtual sound wave, which was also a highlight of iDrive 7.0 at that time.

However, it seems that BMW's efforts to update the iDrive system will not stop there. Judging from the electric SUV car series iX released in November 2020, its 12.3-inch digital instrument and 14.9-inch central control screen are connected together to form a large-size curved screen. The interface is obviously different from the current iDrive 7.0. Different, the original factory also emphasized that the iX is equipped with the latest generation of in-vehicle computers. Its computing speed is 20 times higher than that of the previous generation. The powerful computing power means that it can process more data. Therefore, the number of sensors that can be installed on the iX is doubled. Support 5G connection function, and handle real-time cloud computing and Internet of Vehicles applications in the future. Together with the hardware changes that match the new generation iDrive, it also includes the switch to the button-type gear at the center gear seat, plus the wheel-type volume button design on the right side, and even the steering wheel shape and layout will obviously be different from the current one.

Following the 2021 CES Consumer Electronics Show in the United States that first revealed some features of the new generation of iDrive, it coincides with the 20th anniversary of iDrive. Now the original BMW factory officially announced on the official website that it will be live broadcast online at 11:30 pm on March 15th, Beijing time. Attach the words "World Premiere of The All-New iDrive", and then show that the group will officially release the new generation iDrive on March 15.

According to speculation from various parties, the new generation of iDrive is likely to be called iDrive 8, instead of using other names such as BMW Operating System. The focus of the new system is not only the curved screen, but the most important thing is to greatly simplify the physical button configuration. It is equipped with new gesture control, AI smart voice recognition, and retains the classic iDrive knob-type control keys. It can also greatly reduce the need for analog and digital technology. gap. The new iDrive can also receive and display hazard warnings from other BMW vehicles, or predict whether there is a parking space at the destination. The new generation of BMW iDrive will take advantage of the potential of smart connected cars, making the mobile experience safer, more comfortable and convenient, and more diverse.

In addition, along with the new generation iDrive, there is also the new generation digital key BMW Digital Key Plus, which uses the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology of the U1 communication chip that iPhone 11 began to load, so that car owners no longer It needs to use the iPhones NFC and door handles to sense to unlock, but it can be like the current smart Comfort Access car key, the phone will be automatically unlocked when it is placed on the body and close to the vehicle.

At present, according to foreign media speculation, it will be the first car to be equipped with the new generation iDrive system. In addition to the iX and i4, the two new generation pure electric vehicles that will be officially launched in 2022, the future will include the small facelift X5/X6, the small facelift 8 Series, Small facelift 3 Series, even the rumored big facelift 7 Series code-named G70/G71, U06 2nd generation 2 Series Active Tourer, may adopt the new generation iDrive. We will continue to track relevant trends and bring readers the latest reports first-hand.
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