BMW reveals next-gen iDrive, digital instrument cluster

During its Digital Day event, BMW released preliminary details of its next-generation iDrive system, which is set to debut later this year in the new G05 X5 SUV. The system will run the brand’s new Operating System (OS) 7.0 that replaces version 6.0 used in today’s 5 Series, and is designed to more closely match a user’s individual requirements.

The infotainment system continues to offer homepage live tiles, where “widgets” are shown on the Control Display. Each screen page can hold four of these widgets, and there are 10 pages to place your most popular functions (navigation, media, etc.)

Along with crisper fonts and images, the system is now capable of delivering relevant information at appropriate times. As an example, BMW says the infotainment system will show a parking map when a driver is about to reach their destination.

This tailored approach is attached to a user profile, which can be connected to your key, a PIN number upon entering the vehicle, and even your smartphone, or Digital Key as BMW calls it. Simply enter your profile into the system and all your favourites and preferences will be set up.

If you enjoy talking to your car and having it return the favour, voice control will continue to be available for the iDrive system. Other forms of interaction continue to include the trademark iDrive controller, touch control and gesture control – all being present in current BMW models.

Aside from the iDrive system, there’s also a new 12.3-inch digital display instrument cluster for the driver. BMW’s traditional circular gauges have now been replaced with something a bit more angular to mimic the shape of the BMW grille.

The left side of the screen is for the speedometer, while the right side alternates between a tachometer or fuel economy readouts, depending on the drive mode. Should you be using the navigation function at the time, a map is shown in the middle of the screen as well.

There’s more too, as each drive mode will come with its own display featuring a specific colour theme and relevant information. For instance, bright red and a g-meter for Sport mode, while a calming blue and efficiency status can be found in Eco mode.

The system’s new style was first previewed on the Concept 8 Series, Z4 Concept as well as the Concept X7, where the SUV is currently in pre-production phase. We’ll likely get more information about these systems with time, but what do you think of them for now?

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