BMW X1, iX1 and 2 Series get iDrive 8.5 infotainment this year

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New system will feature updated touchscreens, enhanced voice control and a ‘content-driven’ interface.

BMW has revealed further details of the new iDrive 8.5 operating system planned to be launched on the BMW X1, BMW iX1 and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer from November 2023.

Based on Google’s Android Open Source Project software, this ninth-generation system brings a revised home screen, altered graphical interfaces and new menu structure – all of which, BMW says, have been modelled on those from consumer electronic devices.

The latest iDrive system makes the home screen a permanently viewable interface within BMW’s curved digital display.

Other individually configurable programs can also be displayed within the same screen as an alternative to the navigation system’s map view in what BMW describes as a new “zero layer principle”.

The new layout is aimed at displaying all relevant functions and information on a single level, making it possible to enter commands without having to use a submenu.

The new home screen houses user-chosen widgets in a vertical arrangement on the driver’s side of the display.

Each widget can be selected with a swipe or touch and also configured individually, says BMW.

So-called QuickSelect functionality allows the driver and front passenger to directly select vehicle settings, contact lists and entertainment programs as well as other menu options from the home screen.

Once the relevant settings have been chosen, a tap of the home icon returns the display to the home screen.

“BMW iDrive is more than just a control and operating system,” said Stephan Durach, vice president BMW Group connected company development. “We are continuously enhancing the user experience based on the latest available technology.”

BMW says the QuickSelect functionality is a further development of the iDrive system fitted to current BMW models with a curved display.

But while that system is based on a Linux software package, the new iDrive 8.5 system uses Google’s Android Open Source Project software.

BMW confirms it will be reserved for compact-class models, including the 1 and 2 Series as well as the X1, iX1 and X2.

“An updated version of iDrive 8.5 with similar QuickSelect functionality will be introduced to all mid-size, executive and luxury model ranges,” said the German car maker.

Current BMW models running the iDrive 8.5 include the new 7 Series, iX, i4, X5, X6, X7 and XM.

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