Next-gen BMW iDrive to be revealed at CES 2021

German marque celebrates 20 years of iDrive system and will announce “the new chapter in its display and operating system”.

BMW intends to use this week’s online-only 2021 Consumer Electronics Show to detail its next-generation of iDrive infotainment system.

Set to be fully detailed later this year, the system will make its debut in the iX electric SUV, shown for the first time last year and set to go on sale this autumn. It marks 20 years since the first iDrive interface was installed in a production BMW – the E65 7 Series.

The new generation system, which follows on from the current Operating System 7 software, is said to take “the burgeoning relationship between a BMW and its driver to a new level”.

“The new system neatly bridges the gap between analogue and digital technology,” BMW said in a statement. “And this, in turn, heralds another paradigm shift, as the number of available functions in a car and their complexity continue along a constant upward curve.

“Digital intelligence has been introduced into cars, optimised sensors now allowing them to perceive and analyse their surroundings. As a result, elements of driving and parking can be automated to an increasing degree. And cloud-based services dip into a growing pool of real-time data.”

BMW claims this means the car as access to more hazard information than the driver, for example by receiving and displaying warnings from other BMW vehicles via the cloud. Other feature will include the ability to predict the availablity of parking spaces at a destination.

Lawrence Allan

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