Following decades of development and evolution, the BMW iDrive with its curved display in the iX and i4, continues to be one of the most intuitive and positive user experiences in the sphere of infotainment. At the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), BMW is introducing new extensions to the iDrive ecosystem.
The current BMW Operating System 8 already features 'My Modes' called Personal, Sport and Efficient. These adapt the car to their respective pre-programmed settings and in the second half of this year BMW will add two more: Expressive and Relax.
With My Mode Expressive the dual curved screen changes appearance to show a more artistic display, with driving data kept to the essential. Its 'Vivacious Yellow' theme overlays a dark blue background with abstract patterns. In conjunction with the IconicSounds Electric, cars such as the iX and i4 will also produce "an unconventional and highly characteristic soundscape" in the interior.
The more obviously-named My Mode Relax is designed to help drivers do just that. When chosen by the driver the car transitions to a more comfort-focused driving setup. Graphics on the curved display show a desert dune landscape during the daytime, and at night this image changes to moonlight and a starry sky. A more relaxing and harmonious aural backdrop is activated and the ambient lighting produces a shade of teal that is easier on the eyes.
Those sounds have been specially developed through a partnership with Grammy and Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer. The new sounds are designed to not only reflect the new era of electric driving, but to also enhance the experience for drivers and passengers.
"Sound plays a key role in the emotionally engaging driving experience in a BMW," says Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design. "Hans Zimmer's incomparable experience and creativity has allowed us to create soundscapes for the mobility of the future that also give our all-electric models an unmistakable sound profile."
These will be available as over-the-air updates to the latest generation of BMW models during the second half of 2022.
Your BMW car will become an art gallery
Art is another world that BMW has enjoyed a long relationship with, from its numerous Art Cars to the company's long-time association and sponsorship of events, including the Frieze Art Fair.
A Digital Art Mode will soon bring creative pieces to the interior of your car. A collaboration between BMW Group Design and the Chinese multimedia artists, Cao Fei - who also designed the 18th BMW Art Car - will see a unique collection of mobile artworks appear on the car's interior displays.
"With the new Digital Art Mode, BMW Cultural Engagement reaches new heights while creating something entirely unique," said Christoph Grote, Senior Vice President Digital Car, BMW Group. "For the very first time, we are making digital art an integral part of the modern driving experience in a car and use innovative technology to transform mobility into an individual, highly exclusive and emotional experience."
Commenting on the collaboration, Cao Fei said: "2017 was a spectacular year, a time when humanity embraced the advent of artificial intelligence. During this time, I employed augmented reality to create the 18th BMW Art Car, a car with an aura of its own, enhanced by new technologies.
"2021 was a difficult and special year. While humanity was stuck and helpless, the world has been moving determinedly into the metaverse, the age of virtual immersion. This is the very moment when I was once again invited to participate in BMW's ground-breaking Digital Art Mode.
"My work 'Quantum Garden' gives the BMW driver the chance to experience the ever-changing digital landscapes of a multifaceted universe in a screen world, where abstract poetry and sensory pixels intersect. Its network of open-ended spectra is connecting out hearts to the call of goodwill from the depts of the universe."