BMW’s new Digital Car unit is to develop a new infotainment system that will be used for the first time in the upcoming iX.
BMW wants to do away with its OS7 infotainment system and introduce an as yet unnamed system in the future, on which 4,000 software developers are working. However, Linux will still serve as the basis. The new system will first be used in the BMW iX electric SUV, Handelsblatt reports. The vehicle will be released in 2021, and the rest of the model range is also expected to benefit quickly. The system is to be controllable via screens and voice commands. The iX is to be equipped with 5G and can also receive over-the-air updates.
This is also already possible with OS7. BMW has already released a major update about it. The new functions in some models include, for example, a door opening option via smartphone or a cloud-based navigation system, according to Handelsblatt. The big role model for the industry is Tesla with its operating system, which continuously includes updates and also new functions.
BMW also allows Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay, but BMW has excluded Google Automotive Services. The latter is a standalone infotainment system from Google where data also flows to the US company. It is used by Polestar in the Polestar 2 electric car. In the future, General Motors will also use Google’s car operating system.
Another major car company also sees software as a key success factor: Volkswagen is bundling the Group’s software development in the Car.Software.Org unit founded in July 2020. Among other things, it will develop the company’s own operating system VW.OS. According to VW CEO Herbert Diess, Volkswagen has been able to recruit numerous employees for the new organization in recent months: “We have hired around 500 new IT specialists in recent months. We are also buying entire companies. By the end of the year, we will have almost 6,000 people in Car.Software.Org.”