More photos of the new iDrive

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This new iDrive system is creating a buzz that is for once positive about BMW technology. This positive buzz may also open the eyes of car mags and critics to the idea (finally) of iDrive not being as bad as they try to make it out to be. The current system is a vast improvement to the original in the 7 series, but because it retained the same name, to many it was the same system.

When we originally brought you the pictures of the controller we were happy with that improvement. When we heard about what the operating system would be like we were ecstatic. When we finally were able to see the system we were captivated, now we are just simply blown away. If the system can do half of what it is supposed to effectively and efficiently it will be a great success, especially since it looks beautiful!

We hope that the new system, we would like to dub iDrive 2.0, is just the beginning of new successes in BMW creature comfort technology!

You can read about each photo by scrolling over “notes “

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  • Guided tours!!??!! Holy crap! That’s awesome.

    With the surfing the Internet in the EU – is that restricted to when the car is stopped and in park/neutral? Somehow I think surfing the net at 200 km/h on the Autobahn might be less than ideal. 🙂

    This looks really awesome – I’ve fallen in love with my iDrive. Any improvements and/or added functionality is more than welcome!

  • The internet is able to be used when the car is stopped or under 5 km/h IIRC (If I remember correctly).

    As for the guided tours, it is still vague to me as to what exactly it is. It may be just further details of sites of interest or when you are driving in a particular area it pops up to provide you with additional information. The vast majority of this sort of info is from Germany so our version may be different and certain things may get lost or modified in translation….

    None the less the new system is amazing!

  • Enzo

    Edmunds reported that the US will not get the internet part of ConnectedDrive, saying BMW claims the US lacks the technology infrastructure to support it.

  • Enzo: it is not a lack of infrastructure, the system uses EDGE (GSM based 2.5G data) just as the first iPhone which now covers most of the US. The issue is more along the lines of BMW not reaching an agreement with AT&T to provide the coverage at a reasonable rate. There are also other issues with implementing a system between BMW and the service provider, in the US that are not in other markets. It is worth noting that all BMWs with BMWAssist already have data features and with MyInfo they took it one step further and use the newer technologies…..

    Edmunds is good sometimes but they often hear what they want to hear.

  • K-town

    I live in Germany but will get a US spec 328, hopefully I’ll be able to use the internet part. Also, Germany is definately behind the US in tech infrastructure. They dont even have sat. radio over here.

  • To K-town. Germany is not behind the U.S. – tech infrastructure is far superior in almost all respects. Your mobile´s signal in Germany will almost always be 5 bars – that is hardly the case in the U.S.

    Satellite radio is not a measure of this either. I´m not even sure why anyone in the U.S. wants it – having Internet in the car is lightyears ahead of satellite radio and having Internet radio in the car gives you a million radio choices, not 100.

  • The new iDrive is gen 4, not iDrive 2.0.

    See my article at (apparently this node of the site is temporarily down but hopefully will be up soon) which goes into the various generations of iDrive.

  • jump23

    Jonathan: Does “internet in the car” mean “internet-radio in the car”. I thought the internet would only be accessible when the car is stopped or going less than 10 MPH.

  • K-town

    To Jonathan, Your wrong. I work it the tech field for a multinational company. I live 8 months out of the year in Germany and 4 in the U.S. My German colleagues even agree with me.

  • To K-town. I guess just saying “your wrong” (even if you cannot spell it) proves your point. If you want to back it up with facts, fine. But the lack of sat. radio (an ancient technology) proves nothing.

    To jump23, not necessarily. I use Net radio via a 3G smartphone plugged into the aux-in port right now. I don’t believe BMW has spec’d out streaming support YET but it’s inevitable IMO.

  • K-Town: Not to join in the banter BUT… I think it is all relative who has the greater tech/more tech. In the US tech is cheaper and more readily available but it is also very under developed and not necessarily better or worse, just different. The Germans tend to develop technology in a more complete fashion, and expect it to be better, where in the US it can be mediocre and people will accept it until the next “thing” comes along.

    They may not have Sat/Rad but that is b/c there is no need, the majority of people live near population centers (unlike the US which is spread) and the radio network is excellent and operates differently than in the states. I personally do not like Sat/Rad as the quality is less than stellar and it gives me a headache (underdeveloped tech). If you look at the EU mobile phones you will see far superior products (majority) and a much more complete network which allows for 2-way video on the mobile phone, and a complete 3G (and already onto better things).

    The Germans also place more emphasis on tech for ecology and the good of the majority, such as in solar/wind power as well as community based composters that utilize the heat created to produce steam and power a turbine to create electricity. (Side note I bought a composter to try and do my part and it is amazing!). By doing this they keep waste out of landfills, create compost and electricity at the same time- is the Mr. Fusion far off? Something like that will not occur in the US, b/c why would we put tech into that? There are consumer electronics to develop like faster PCs (since they are already fast enough already for 95% of the people out there! )

    They have digital land line phones instead of analog like the US, and for the most part there power grid and utilities are underground, where in the US they are mostly above.

    The roads are even designed better with more tech- they over engineer them- the A-bahn can self adjust speed limits based on traffic and also tell the TI+ network instantly, unlike the US system which is slow to react because it relies on a human to enter info based on human traffic reports and sometimes does not even update back (this past week it told me each morning that there was an accident by my home, it happened Monday and did not leave until Friday!! That was some accident)

    The one advantage the US has is in TV, there are almost as many channels now as there are people!

    In the end, the Germans focus on building things the best they can (Look at a Miele washer or vacuum and compare it to a Kenmore and you will be amazed at the tech difference.) where in the US it id good enough to get by and the R&D for the next one starts. In the US it allows thing to be cheaper and more people can buy them, in Germany this means higher costs and people may not adopt them because of cost.

    I also think that sometimes people forget that we are fortunate to afford some of life’s luxuries where as others are not. If you go to some places in the US you will be amazed by how different things are; ie there is no cell phone service, digital cable, high speed internet and so on… things just appear like everyone has them.