BMW’s latest build of iDrive with ConnectedDrive and new touch capability is out and its “techtastic”. Highlights include a new touch-pad input option, high-res graphics and internet-connected features. Overall, iDrive has grown into a real top-shelf system and one that most other manufacturers struggle to match. In fact, only Audi and Mercedes are really in the mix. Yup, those it’s those Germans dominating all things automotive, as they often do.
So what are the key upgrades that come with ConnectedDrive 2015? First and foremost, the folks at Maryland’s BMW of Rockville tell us is 4G connectivity integrated into the system. What does that enable? Well, stuff like high definition real-time traffic data for the navigation. Then there’s the new touch input pad. It sits atop a new, larger iDrive wheel and allows you to swipe in characters with a finger. You can also use it just like a laptop touchpad to guide a pointer.
Next up is graphics -as in gorgeous. iDrive has the best graphics of any current in-car multimedia system in the US. They’re the best because they combine slickness with clarity and logic. The revised system now offers snazzier transitions including 3D and transparencies and all at better frame rates.
Then there’s the new ConnectedDrive Store. The idea here is to enable you to buy apps and services for your BMW. Part of this new service is the general philosophy of greater configurability. You can now pick and choose your BMW’s infotainment functionality as well as upgrade it after purchase.
Together iDrive and ConnectedDrive make one of if not the best in-car infotainment platform currently available. It truly offers a huge array of functionality – so much we have really only scratched the surface here. Indeed, it’s fascinating to see BMW maintain its technical leadership but in this new form. In the old days, BMW made the very best engines and offered the very best driving dynamics.