BMW’s new OS8 iDrive will integrate Android Automotive

Operating System 8 is rolling out on new BMWs with Android Automotive integration coming in 2023

BMW’s iDrive infotainment system debuted on the controversially-styled E65 7 Series in 2001 and has received numerous updates throughout its life. Now the German firm has announced that the eighth iteration of the system will be built on Google’s Android Automotive operating system in future models, joining cars from Volvo, Polestar and the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric

We first saw the latest OS8 iDrive system debut on the all-electric iX model, then the i4 and subsequent 2 Series Active Tourer. BMW says the rollout of Android Automotive into ‘certain model series’ will begin in March 2023 and will line up ‘alongside the current Linux-based variant’.

Android Automotive is the software on which the entire iDrive system is built and is not the same as Android Auto, which is simple smartphone mirroring. BMW says the use of Android Automotive will allow tailored user interfaces and the ability to develop its own iteration of the operating system in the future.

Details on how BMW’s version of the Android Automotive system will function and what it will look like haven’t been revealed but with the latest iDrive system it’ll appear on a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch central infotainment display. 

Stephan Durach, Senior Vice-President of Technical Operations at BMW spoke on next year’s infotainment expansion, “We are integrating the best aspects of all worlds – that could be our own in-house developments, Open Source or commercial software products, depending on what the specific solution looks like. We make sure our customers always enjoy a unique, customised digital experience in their vehicle.”

As with previous generations of iDrive, BMW says the new system will continue to be updated "over the air". We expect Android Automotive updates will be rolled out through OTA, similar to when BMW added Android Auto to 750,000 of its cars in late 2020.

The announcement comes not long after Apple’s reveal of its new CarPlay system - which will provide a more comprehensive infotainment system when it launches in 2023.

Check out the best cars for infotainment here...

Recommended

BMW M Hybrid V8 hypercar set to race at Le Mans
BMW M Hybrid V8 hypercar - side/front
News

BMW M Hybrid V8 hypercar set to race at Le Mans

BMW’s new LMDh class entry will take part in the World Endurance Championship from 2024
27 Jul 2022
Best BMW M cars ever
Best BMW M cars
Features

Best BMW M cars ever

With a legendary roster of fabulous performance cars in its illustrious history, here's our pick of the M power crop...
1 Jun 2022
Best German modern classic cars 2022
Best German modern classics - header image
Best cars & vans

Best German modern classic cars 2022

Investing in a modern classic from Germany could be a shrewd financial decision. Here’s our pick of the best current options
24 May 2022
Future classics 2022: car investments that could make you money
Future classics - header image
Best cars & vans

Future classics 2022: car investments that could make you money

Identifying future classic cars is a tricky but potentially lucrative business, here are our future classic recommendations
23 May 2022

Most Popular

New 2025 Land Rover Discovery set for luxury reinvention
Land Rover Discovery - front (watermarked)
News

New 2025 Land Rover Discovery set for luxury reinvention

The Land Rover Discovery nameplate could spawn a family of models like the Defender
4 Aug 2022
New Mercedes EQE 350+ 2022 review
Mercedes EQE 350 - front
Road tests

New Mercedes EQE 350+ 2022 review

The new Mercedes EQE electric executive car tackles British roads for the first time
5 Aug 2022
“Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda cars are just too similar”
Opinion - VW and Skoda
Opinion

“Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda cars are just too similar”

Mike Rutherford thinks Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda need to target different audiences if they are to be successful in the future
7 Aug 2022