BMW has announced that the upcoming iX and i4 electric vehicles will be equipped with iDrive 8, their latest interactive buddy to keep you busy while you motor about.
When you are the self-proclaimed ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’, it would seem less is more, at least that was my experience in owning a 535iS and two M3s. Of course, that was then and this is now, and to keep up with the digitalia that has proliferated, you’ve got to have a more robust driver-vehicle interface, certainly a larger or more impressive dash, and a digital assistant that encourages greater personalization.
Not only is the BMW iDrive 8 processing your data, but it is doing likewise across the entire BMW Group vehicle fleet. According to BMW, this will allow implementation in a more contextual way. Suppose the drive you take to go over the river and through the woods to a distant getaway spot isn’t what the amassed data indicates is the optimal route. Will the iDrive chide you, or worse, light up the expansive curved display like a Christmas tree?
Speaking of Christmas, there’s a new routine, a customer experience BMW has initiated that welcomes you into your iX or i4 by lighting the area around the car before it unlocks itself, and your onboard assistant preps the cabin for you, roughly approximating what a flight attendant does. Think that’s a little overboard? Well, by using My Modes, you can set the mood inside your Bimmer, including ambient lighting.
iDrive 8’s sophistication is such that it will accept more third-party apps than ever before, onboarding them into your BMW’s operating system. We use WordPress daily to create our editorial content, but I can’t fathom how this might be iDrive-integrated so that in using the iX’s vocal recognition capabilities I could compose this article and drive at the same time.
Keep in mind with the purchase of your new iX or i4, you’ll be permanently, immutably connected to the BMW Cloud, along with 14 million other connected BMWs that are traversing the road. All that long-term, real-time data that BMW is collecting, includes but is not limited to: How fast you drive, where you’ve been, or where you’re going.