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New Car Technology: BMW iDrive – Video

Automakers are always looking to improve their in-car technology. So let’s take a look at BMW iDrive and see if it lives up to the hype.

Many shoppers think of BMW as a leader when it comes to in-car tech. To that, the iDrive system does include a lot of cool features, including navigation, telephone and entertainment features plus vehicle functions on an impressive-looking 10.25-inch screen (on the BMW 7 Series). And the large tile-style panels can be moved around to let you customize the look. Other BMW models may have a 6.5- or 8.8-in screen.

The iDrive system can be operated in four different ways, so you definitely have options. First, you can touch the interactive screen directly; second, you can use the iDrive controller in the center console; or you can use the Intelligent Voice Command button on the steering wheel.

Then there’s the new gesture-control feature that’s generating a lot of buzz. Point one finger to take a call or swipe right to dismiss it. A clockwise motion with your finger will turn up the volume, and you can reverse the motion to turn it down. We also like the customizable two-finger-point option, which you can program to open an app, stream your favorite station or summon the navigation.

Also worth noting: We like seeing traffic signs, telephone numbers, navigation instructions and driver-assist warnings pop up on BMW’s generous head-up display. All of which helps keep the driver’s attention where it should be — on the road.

You’ll find BMW iDrive on select 2016 and 2017 models. Overall, we found iDrive to be feature-rich and intuitive once you get the hang of it. And it’s one more feature enthusiasts will love about their BMWs.

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