BMW debuts new iDrive system at CES 2021, but Mercedes’ Hyperscreen MBUX still reigns supreme
Some 20 years ago most cars didn’t have infotainment displays and their dashboards were crowded with buttons and knobs. Come 2021 and almost every car out there comes with a display, usually ranging from seven to 12.3 inches (so companies offer larger screens). But things are about to go wild, as Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the Hyperscreen, a massive 56-inch infotainment display that’s basically stretches over the entire dashboard. Needless to say, Mercedes stole the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show with it, but BMW also gets a piece of the action with a new-generation iDrive system.
2022 BMW iX - Photo Gallery
The BMW Vision iNEXT has become the BMW iX – a pre-production prototype that previews the brand’s upcoming electric SUV. With a year still to go before its market launch at the end of 2021, the BMW Group is providing a first look ahead to the future BMW iX, which is currently still in the series development phase. The BMW iX is the first model based on a new, modular, scalable future toolkit developed by the BMW Group and focused on a fresh interpretation of design, sustainability, driving pleasure, versatility and luxury. Check out our awesome photo gallery below!
BMW Believes That Solid State Batteries Are Still At Least 7 Years Out
The biggest challenge that EVs are facing today has to do with batteries. To be more specific, extracting maximum range from the batteries and reduce the charging times. There are a lot of technologies being developed that would be the solution to these problems, but the brightest one as of now is the solid-state battery. These are much safer, but cost a lot more than lithium-ion packs, and its application in EVs is not mainstream yet. How long would it take for it to feature in EVs, you ask? BMW says at least seven years.
BMW’s New S58 Engine from the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M Will Eventually Power the Next-Gen M2, M3, and M4
The first-ever M versions of the X3 and X4 broke cover somewhat unexpectedly in February 2019, joining the larger X5 M and X6 Mto complete BMW’s four-vehicle lineup of beefed-up SUVs. And, while the X3 M, the first of its kind in 16 years, is big news, there’s even bigger news under its hood, where BMW dropped a brand-new high-performance engine. It’s called the S58 and replaces the already iconic S55.
The 2020 BMW 7 Series Is A Bavarian Tech Fest
The 2020 BMW 7 Series Intelligent Personal Assistant Is Equal Parts Creepy and Cool
As my wife will be quick to tell you, I can occasionally get a little paranoid when it comes to modern digital technology. I don’t like being tracked. I don’t like how cameras are everywhere and always turned on. I don’t like anything that even carries a whiff of 1984. As such, the Intelligent Personal Assistant in the new 2020 BMW 7 Series makes me nervous. However, at the same time, the geek in me thinks it’s pretty damn cool.
BMW’s New Futurelight Camper Concept Represents the Future of Outdoor Adventure
BMW’s Designworks division is showcasing its latest project at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Developed together with outdoor clothing company The North Face, the concept is called the Futurelight Camper, and it’s essentially a futuristic camping tent that traces its roots to the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model Concept that the German automaker unveiled in 2008. If anything, the Futurelight Camper Concept proves that just because camping doesn’t necessarily extend to being a high-tech affair, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in the comfort of a camping tent that comes with a geodesic-dome frame made from carbon fiber and a high-tech fabric that comes from a process called Nanospinning technology. Unfortunately, it looks like the Futurelight Camper Concept is going to remain a concept for the time being.
BMW and Porsche Tease an Ultrafast EV Charger That Nobody Can Use
Charging electric cars is a major concern for EV owners. In fact, it is one of the aspects that affect the decision-making process of any prospective buyer as well. Companies have come up with fast chargers and superfast chargers that are relatively close to competing with traditional refueling times, but they aren’t quite there yet. All of that may change, though, as BMW and Porsche have announced a new ultrafast electric car charger that is faster than even Tesla’s supercharger!
10 Best Vehicle and Technology Innovations of 2018
BMW Confirms the i3 Will Continue to Survive
After all the mumbo jumbo surrounding the i3’s existence, the automaker has finally confirmed that the little electric hatchback will continue to live on. When the i4 was announced at the Paris Motor Show, it looked like a legit replacement for the i3; also because BMW did not address the i3. Now, however, BMW has confirmed that it has got future plans for the i3, according to The Drive.
Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy
The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.
Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.
The 2019 BMW X5’s Electric Boot Cover is the Definition of Useless Technology
Daimler and BMW to Join Forces on the Mobility Front
We’ve seen automakers team up for a variety of reasons, including the sharing of platforms to streamline development and drive down costs. Now, BMW and Daimler are teaming up for a combined effort to create the latest mobility services for customers.
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BMW Will Help Build The World’s Fastest Drone
BMW has set its fair share of automotive records, but the German automaker is now setting its sights on a different kind of world record. In partnership with the Drone Racing League, Bimmer is going to help build the world’s fastest drone with the goal of breaking the current speed record of 163.5 mph. The extent of the collaboration wasn’t made specific, but a big part of it involves BMW lending its technical know-how and wind tunnel at its Aerodynamic Test Center to help the DRL break its own record.
Bend Over and Prepare for Insertion: BMW Wants to Charge You Annually For Apple CarPlay
BMW is changing the way it offers Apple CarPlay. The German automaker plans to turn Apple CarPlay into a subscription service instead of the current format of charging owners $300 to add the capability to navigation-equipped BMW models. Moving forward, BMW owners with navigation-equipped models won’t have to pay for the service in the first year of their subscription. There is a catch, though. Once that first year lapses, owners will need to pay an annual fee of $80 to maintain the service.
DHL Sources BMW i3 Battery Modules For Electric Delivery Trucks
Vehicular electrification is expanding in a big way, going from eco-conscious mpg bubbles, to luxury sedans, to super sports cars, and now, to the world of freight transportation as well. As such, delivery giant DHL hopes to add a dash of EV efficiency to its expansive fleet of vans and trucks, and BMW will provide the parts necessary with components sourced from the i3.
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Good News: BMWs of the Future will have Driver Controls
Every automaker has different ideas on what the future of autonomous driving is. Volkswagen views its future cars as having no driver controls, a sentiment shared by a few others in the business. For its part, Lamborghini has no plans to go autonomous at any point, arguing that doing so would completely rob the driver of the very essence of what a Lambo is all about. Then there’s BMW. The German automaker has no intention of removing the steering wheel on their future autonomous vehicles. Apparently, Bimmer wants the wheel, and the driver controls to remain in its cars to give drivers the best of both worlds. Hard to argue against that sentiment.
Will BMW be the First Brand to Offer Level 5 Autonomy?
Just of nine months ago, Mobileye landed a deal with BMW to assist in developing Autonomous technology or future BMW cars. Just weeks later, Tesla and Mobileye cut the cord on their partnership. But, all is good in the world of autonomy as Tesla has soldiered on and BMW now claims that it will deliver Level 5 autonomy – in other words, a fully autonomous car – by 2021. Word was given to a panel discussion in Berlin by Elmar Frickenstein, BMW’s Senior Vice President of Autonomous Driving.
“We are on the way to deliver a car in 2021 with Level 3, 4, and Level 5 Autonomy.” But, he also went on to explain that the vehicle, which has yet to be announced, will have different levels of autonomy depending on where it is used. So, much like Tesla’s autopilot, it could offer full autonomous drive on the highway while still requiring human intervention within city areas or areas that haven’t been adequately mapped.
As things sit right now, Level 3 Autonomy still requires a human driver in place in case intervention is needed, but it’s theoretically hands-off when in operation. Level 4 will still require a human inside the vehicle at most times but will be hands-off and mind-off, meaning a car ride will be more about leisure or work than anything. Finally, Level 5 won’t require any human at all and is the endgame for autonomous technology as we know it now. Cars will be able to drive and function all on their own, which means the car can drop you off at work and return home to the wife. Or, it could take the kids to school on Friday while you enjoy sleeping in on your day off. It’s undoubtedly the future of cars at this point, and right now automakers are locked in a race to see who can get there first.
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New BMW 5 Series Has a Sweet Navigation System
I’m a big fan of BMW, so when they finally rolled the new 5 Series onto their show floor in Detroit this week, I was super stoked to check it out. Of course, I had to stay behind the velvet rope until after their press conference and all of that, but once that was done, Bimmer lifted the ropes and let your boy in to check out all of the finer details of its new 5 Series Sedan. While the cabin was spacious and the tablets for rear seat passengers were cool, what really interested me was the navigation system up front.
Most stock navigation systems are pretty much the same these days, and maybe other models have the same functions, but BMW’s was insanely fast and responsive and was actually able to work under the metal roof and beams of the Cobo Center in Detroit. The initial display is pretty basic – it’s your normal birds-eye view of the area with a little blip showing your exact location, but zooming in gives you a mildly 3D representation of the area around you. Zooming in even further gives you a street-level view of sorts that shows all of the buildings in their exact locations and with relative height.
Naturally, I didn’t get to see the navigation in action outside of viewing my location and playing with the view, but if the responsiveness and quickness of the system are any indication, this system should make navigating unfamiliar territory a breeze. And, for the record, the rest of the system was fast and responsive as well, including phone pairing, XM radio station selection, onboard music storage loading and browsing, and navigating the various menus and settings as a whole. Maybe the systems from brands like Mercedes and Audi as just as good, but I was pretty impressed with what BMW brought to the table with the system in the 5 Series. It beats the standard google navigation system I’ve been so accustomed to for so long; that’s for sure.
Stay BMW Connected at home with BMW’s New Digital Window
Like it or not, we live in a digital age and technology is getting insanely better by the day. At one time it was all tech companies leading the way to our digital future, but in recent years, automakers have started getting on the wagon and introducing their own new and wild technology. Most of the time this is associated with the cars they build, but at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, BMW has reminded us that it’s not always about the car. No, it’s about staying connected whether you’re in your home or in your car. And, never more was that evident than when BMW powered up and displayed its newest piece of tech: the BMW Connected Window.
BMW Connected is a suite of systems that help you organize your “mobility agenda,” plan your next trip, and update information between your personal devices and your BMW so that everything you need is always right at your fingertips. The BMW Connected Window takes that one step further with a digital wall panel that is something right out of science fiction movies. It displays a digital view of your city, provides the day’s agenda on a timeline, and shows you the best route to take from stop to stop in your daily routine, all while taking real-time traffic information and weather conditions into account. The only thing it is missing is a digital doctor that can diagnose illness before you walk out of the house, but give them a little time for that one.
The system takes all of this information and sends it to all of your personal devices, be it a smartwatch, smartphone, or even your BMW prior to your morning departure. In the future, the system will be able to take daily routines into account and help plan spaces of free time where you can fit in special appointments or other tasks outside of your usual daily routine. The system’s main input is gesture control, which gives you the ability to zoom in on the map, expand meetings to review more information about them or look at real-time traffic information in-depth before taking off for the day. There’s no word as to what the Connected Window will cost, but something tells me that you’ll eventually be able to bundle it up right along with the purchase of a new BMW.
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All Eyes On Bavaria As BMW Promises iNext Autonomous Vehicle By 2021
The auto industry is just like any major business segment in that it’s made up of “followers” and “movers and shakers.” Followers are those who prefer that the industry chart a definitive course before getting on board with whatever new evolution arrives. By contrast, movers are shakers are those who define the industry moving forward. They are those who plot the course of business and are usually ahead of everybody else. BMW qualifies in the “movers and shakers” category, in large part because it has never been afraid to stake its name in the pursuit of development.
The German automaker is doing it again with the announcement that it’s iNext autonomous vehicle has been scheduled for a release in 2021. As many of you know, BMW’s iNext project has been talked about in the past, often in vague terms. Not much is known about the car at this point other than it’s going to be autonomous and that it’s going to be the first of a wave of autonomous vehicles that BMW plans to build in the future. The latest development here is the timetable, something that Bimmer has been coy about. But now it’s official out; the iNext is now scheduled for release in 2021, or one year after BMW goes full-on electric with its core lineup.
With the long-term goal now established, getting there now becomes the tricky part. BMW says that it’s well equipped to hit its target, thanks in large part to its new research and development campus in Munich that will serve as ground zero for its electric, connectivity, and autonomous projects. Once the campus is running on full volume, it will employ more than 2,000 people, a large swath of whom will join the 600 employees that BMW already has in its ranks, most of whom are already working on the company’s automated driving software.
Not much is known about the iNext project, but it has been reported that a lot of BMW’s future technologies could be used by the car, including the HoloActive Touch system that the German automaker is introducing at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. Cross your fingers then that the technology’s debut goes on as planned.
In the meantime, we can at least expect BMW to create a new work structure among its employees with the goal of combining specific expertise in certain areas of development, which in turn could create a more efficient response and collaboration among these teams.
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BMW Steps Into New Frontier With HoloActive Touch System
If by some way we end up with car featuring Tony Stark-levels of technology, we could point back to the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show as the tipping point that allowed us to push beyond imagination and into actual reality. It’s still a big leap from that day, but BMW has arrived at the stage wherein the possibilities are now upon us. The German automaker is scheduled to introduce the HoloActive Touch system, a concept interior that removes all sorts of traditional interior features and replaces them with a floating protection that interacts with a touchscreen pad. If you can’t picture it, think Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The basic gist of the HoloActive Touch system is actually pretty straight-forward. It bears some similarities to the current head-up display tech that makes use of reflections to project an image and make it appear as if it’s floating in mid-air. The projection is synced into a physical touchscreen found on the center console of the car, which itself can be configured by the driver to perform a myriad of different functions, as if your fingers are controlling the images that you see in the projection. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the HoloActive Touch tech also has some of BMW’s own Gesture Control features attached to it, which when combined together, creates a pretty immersive visual interaction with the car itself.
The whole tech is admittedly next-level science fiction variety. We’ve seen different variations of it from Hollywood, but nowhere have we seen it adapted into the real world in the magnitude of what BMW claims it has right now. It’s pretty exciting to see what the future possibilities of the HoloActive Touch system are. Just don’t expect to see it in production form in the near future. Between head-up displays and gesture controls, it does feel like car interior technology is moving at a rapid pace, or at least faster than the time it takes for us to keep up with them.
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