Introduced for the first time in 2001 with the 7-Series, the iDrive is used to control most secondary vehicle systems in many current BMW cars.
Now the automaker prepares a new generation system that most probably will be controlled using a touchpad to simplify BMW’s iDrive interface. Developed by Preh GmgH, which also supplies Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the current prototype allows friendlier browsing and selection.
A prototype touchpad iDrive controller system has already been spied on the 2014 BMW X5 (F15) test mule, so we can expect it to begin appearing on BMW models by the end of 2013 / early 2014 with the release of the 2014 X5.
Exactly how BMW actually implements the technology remains to be seen, but the potential for some innovative uses is certainly there. Whatever it is, hopefully it won’t involve dramatic 80’s electronic music.