BMW to debut Android-based iDrive 9.0 infotainment system in 2023

BMW has confirmed that the ninth-generation iDrive (iDrive 9.0) infotainment operating system will be making its debut in 2023 – just two years since the iDrive 8.0 system was launched.

According to a report by Autocar UK, the new iDrive 9.0 software will forgo a Linux-based operating system for an Android-based package, which BMW says will enable faster and more seamless operational capabilities.

BMW iDrive 8.0 system on the BMW iX xDrive40

The iDrive 9.0 system will launch in the second-generation BMW X2, before being rolled out to other BMW models. It’ll feature a new “content-driven” interface that replaces the existing tile-based home screen, alongside updated touchscreen and voice-based functionality.

There will also be a new app store function, which will take advantage of the 5G connectivity capabilities for faster downloads, in addition to over-the-air software updates. Other refinements will centre around digital air-conditioning controls, which have reportedly been extensively reworked and simplified.

Aside from the X2, Autocar says that the iDrive 9.0 operating system will also be introduced to the all-new BMW X1 and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Both of these models have already removed the iDrive controller in the centre armrest, which could be a hint of what’s to come in the next-generation software.

However, according to BMW Group senior vice president of electronics and software, Cristoph Grote, the iDrive controller – which has been part of every new BMW since 2001 – will still continue to be present on other upcoming BMW models.

Mini models due for launch in 2023, including the new hatchback and a production version of the Aceman concept, will also receive the new iDrive 9.0 system, albeit with a Mini-specific interface.

For the current BMW models with iDrive 8.0, a software updated dubbed iDrive 8.5 will be delivered via over-the-air updates to provide a similar interface and functionality to the upcoming iDrive 9.0 operating system, but without the new app store function.


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