IDrive is the operating concept of the infotainment system from BMW. It features a large LCD display in the center of the dashboard and is predominantly via a single button - controlled and several shortcut keys - the so-called iDrive controller. iDrive is to integrate all convenience functions (especially navigation, telecommunications, audio and suspension settings ) and thus greatly reduce the number of control buttons and knobs. While increasing the range of the vehicle operator should be facilitated.

The current iDrive has in all series with Navigation Professional on a 8.8 -inch display (exception: 7 Series, 6 Series, 5 Series and 5 Series GT with 10.2 inch ) with a resolution of 1280 × 480 pixels. The 3D card details are kept on a hard drive, which also serves as storage for MP3 music data. A DVD drive is used, among other things, to update the information and can also video DVDs and audio CDs. Via an optional USB interface for both USB disk as well as mobile phones and iPod devices can be connected to the onboard computer. Some mobile phones can be connected to the vehicle's external aerial in a manufactured specifically for each model phone charging cradle (snap -in adapter ) via antenna or antenna connection.

Via the optional iDrive BMW ConnectedDrive Online connection can be supplied with a variety of telematics and assistance services. This includes not only e-mail messages, news and weather information can also service the telephone information service "BMW Assist", which provides research and other services and directly transmit navigation data to the onboard computer. About an Internet portal routes can be planned in advance and sent to the car.

Moreover, it is possible to surf through an integrated web browser NetFront base on the Internet.


  • IDrive was presented for the first time in the Z22 concept car in 2000.
  • Was introduced the iDrive in November 2001 with the launch of the new BMW 7 Series ( E65 ).
  • Due to sustained criticism from customers and from the trade press the iDrive in the 7 - series was revised in October 2003. In addition to numerous simplifications in the menus a menu button has been added that allows a direct jump back from any point of a submenu to the main menu.
  • With the introduction of the new 5 - series (E60 ) in 2003 held the iDrive catchment in the upper middle class. The use has been further simplified. Consequently, the number of the function switches and controls was further reduced. You are limited in the E60 mainly on the multifunction steering wheel and the control of lighting, air conditioning and radio volume.
  • 2004 experienced the iDrive in the BMW M5 sport model an appreciation to a number of driving dynamics functions. This allows the electronic stability program DSC, change the EDC Electronic Damper Control, the suspension comfort tuning, engine performance and the accelerator pedal kinematics.
  • Also in 2004, the iDrive was the first time in the compact class, the new model of the 1 - series ( E87 ), available as an optional extra.
  • To be able to frequently used sources of entertainment, navigation destinations and telephone numbers to select faster, iDrive, in March 2007 in the Revised models of the 5 Series and 1 Series as well as in the current 3 Series coupe and convertible and X5 eight freely programmable preset buttons. For the first time buttons with capacitive switches have been installed: The user is touching the button, a preview of the content stored on the button on the screen.
  • With the 3 Series LCI iDrive introduced the second generation in September 2008. Here, the iDrive also received direct selection keys in the range of the controller. In addition, the user interface has been simplified.