Mid-Course Correction for BMWs iDrive
The BMW iDrive cockpit controller is like the flashing12 display seen in home electronics: a symbol, correctly or not, of technology run amok.The BMW iDrive cockpit controller is like the flashing-12 display seen in home electronics: a symbol, correctly or not, of technology run amok. The Bavarian elves at BMW have been hearing cranky-owner complaints for five years. But the iDrive might have easier times ahead, with the arrival in November of the second-generation X5 sports utility vehicleor sports activity vehicle (SAV), in BMW-speak. BMWs first official photos of the X5 show a row of eight programmable keys on the center console stack, to assist the iDrive. That means you will be able to program a favorite destination, a phone number, or an audio setting into each button, bypassing iDrives slide, turn, and press-to-select methodology.
This marks the third version of iDrive. The first, in 2002, had eight general functions that you selected by first sliding the controller in one of the eight compass directions. Version 2, circa 2004, reworked the functions to just four (communication, navigation, entertainment, and climate control). This third variant adds the function buttons, much like programmable PC function keys (they can be programmed, you know, just that no one does anymore) or radio buttons on your car audio system, to the four-way iDrive controller.