What is BMW iDrive 8?


With the BMW iDrive 8 coming up, it is a must for car owners around the world to acknowledge this wonderful feature. Yes, even for non-BMW enthusiasts. In this article, we will gather all required information you need about the BMW iDrive8. This includes the definition, the working functions, as well as the comparison between IDrive version 7.0 and 8.0. 

The Definition and Aim of BMW iDrive8

In March 2021, the carmakers of BMW introduced a whole new technology with a promise of changing the interaction between drivers and automobiles. They aim to change the vehicle with digital and smart features by iDrive 8. 

iDrive 8 is the technology that makes everything the controllers want in the car system’s control. With this feature, car owners can control everything: car’s setting, comfort component, software configuration and navigation. Everything you want, it provides. And the best part is, it can adapt to real life situations. 

The famous technology of BMW (Photo Source: laptrinhx)

This raises another question: Which BMW models have BMW Operating System 8? All models of BMW will be equipped with the new iDrive, and it will start with all the electric BMW’s cars first. This includes the i4 and upcoming iX. 

The Working Functions of BMW iDrive 8

The iDrive 8 uses the two most common car components to function: the controls and the display.  Both the feel and look from the iDrive 8 system are designed in order to follow the trends of the automobile industry. To be more precise, it can work by voice, touch and gesture control with a distraction-free design language. For that reason, car owners can focus on driving while still using the BMW iDrive 8. 

In order to use this features, there are 4 main touchpoints:

The first one is the gesture control, which is nearly the same with the former iDrive version 7.0. The second working function is the curved iDrive which is displayed by using touch support. This method can help drivers interact quicker on-screen. The third way of using the feature is by voice control. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant takes responsibility for this action. And last but not least, we have the iconic iDrive controller. Drivers can find and control this feature in the center console. 

By advanced technology, the carmakers of BMW claim this virtual assistant to be as friendly and natural with passengers as possible. This is like an upgraded version of Amazon Alexa. You can actually name it whatever you want. To be more specific, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant lets you give it a name of your choice. If you are not a fan of calling “Alexa” or “Siri”, this is for you. 

The Benefits of Having BMW iDrive 8

Always Up-to-date

With the purpose of keeping up to date, the manufacturers add many software updates, mainly partial automation as well as driver assistance, to the BMW iDrive8. This is thanks to the remote software upgrade feature. 

If car owners want to have a hectic schedule for the iDrive to keep it working like the working laptop, they can freely schedule the installation of the upgraded software. 

Navigation with BMW Maps

The main benefits of having a BMW iDrive 8 is the navigation. While making My BMW App and iDrive 8, the brand wants car owners to be able to locate the gas stations and surrounding areas as easily as possible. There will be parking, charging services, along with digital navigation in the cloud-based BMW Maps system for drivers. With iDrive 8, you cannot get lost. Not only is it a user-friendly manner, it is also helpful when you want to drive in unfamiliar areas, neighborhoods and cities. 

This is thanks to the intelligent route planning called the “Learning to Navigate” feature. In fact, this is the main factor that helps it stand out from other intellectual applications. By collecting the daily routine and usage habits, the BMW app will pay attention and recommend the location of the place you tend to go. And it will help you get there. The BMW Maps learns through the habits of users by associating with the ID, then analyzes the data to recommend the goal you are most likely to head to. 

The BMW iDrive 8 Personalization

Another advantage of having the BMW iDrive 8 is the personality. It is always a part of the BMW iDrive system that stands out. And the personalization has gone a step further than the rest of the world thanks to the Operating System 8. 


After registering your BMW ID and connecting it on your phone, your BMW will automatically adjust to your location. By combining with the wideband radio technology, your vehicle is able to know exactly where you’re approaching from, as well as how far away you are.When it locates you are closeby, It’ll unlock automatically. Car owners only need to carry a keyfob or a smartphone around, and you can enter your vehicle easily.The BMW Digital Key, of course, isn’t available for older BMWs. If you want the cool keyless Comfort Access in your BMW, you can upgrade it at car mechanics of the brand.

Phone Connectivity

Last but certainly not least, the multimedia is what we want to see in the BMW iDrive 8. In fact, it has all the same multimedia options that car owners expect. You want to get a call on your phone? Simple, it will transfer to your car’s speakers as well as microphone. Drivers want to find the way with BMW Maps? Just say so.

idrive 8
The Phone connectivity is crucial for every intelligent application (Photo Source: robbreport)

iDrive 7.0 vs. iDrive 8.0

By sharing the same manufacturers, the similarities between these two features are plenty. Therefore, we only focus on the advantages of iDrive 8.0 compared with its older version.  

The Menu Interface

The Operating System 8 has a totally different operating system as well as menu interface. This is a huge leap compared to many last iDrive versions. It also has a wide Curved Screen, which is a combination of control display and information display. This screen of BMW iDrive 8 is unique and cannot be found with iDrive 7. 

Personalization and Customization

The iDrive8 has various options for both personalization and personalization. This also includes the updates from softwares and My BMW App.