How to navigate BMW's new iDrive systemCNET's Brian Cooley gives you a quick tour of BMW's newest in-car electronics interface.
[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:09 >> [Brian Cooley:] Hey folks, Brian Cooley here in a 2009 BMW Z4 to show you the new iDrive interface and give you a quick how-to on getting around it. Now the first thing to understand about the new iDrive system is how the controller and the menus work. You've got a list of menu items. You rotate through them with this knob. When you get to one, you press to enter. And then notice you've got left and right functionality. That is pages, if you will. As I kick to the right, I go to the next page, and sometimes there are three or four of these. The top four buttons here are going to go to dedicated areas: CD and multimedia, radio AM, FM, HD radio and satellite, telephone, your Bluetooth communications, and of course nav for your maps. The two on the bottom are general purpose: to go back a step or to seek options at the level you're at contextually. And to get back to the home, just press menu. The easiest one to start with is menu, right there. And here are your main things. Notice how CD and multimedia are separate from radio in the new system; when you hit that, you can get to either your CD and/or DVD changer, your external devices which include things connected to the aux, the USB, or connected to both. And your tone controls are also available under this menu, which includes surround sound and all your settings for volume while you're driving. Radio, being separate, has AM, FM, satellite radio, and of course in this car the FM and AM have HD radio standard as is common in a lot of BMWs. After your two audio lines, you get down to your Bluetooth communications suite under telephone: here's where you'll pair phones, access your phones, get to your phone book if you've transferred that sort of information in, and see your calls you've missed or received. Navigation of course gets you to your 3D GPS navigation like we have here. Within that is an important ribbon on the left to do your navigation operations; lots of icons there, they are pretty simple. Your guidance is at the top, then you've got your voice instructions on/off, your route preferences, points of interest layers, traffic information, your interactive map for moving around. When you want to change the way things show up on the map, hit option and that's going to get you down to these settings right here which includes things like adding traffic information, showing POIs, whether you want the screen split or not. The two on the bottom are key. Map views, this gives you the 3D perspective view, the north view, or the direction of travel view. And the other key one here is the bottom one, which is kind of an infuriating way to get to zoom in/zoom out, but that's where it is. Back to the main menu with menu again. Your contacts is kind of an oddball one. This is breaking out a separate set of contacts from the ones you may have transferred from your Bluetooth phones, so bear in mind you've got two databases there. BMW Assist is all about the wireless connection for them, for roadside assistance and making service appointments and diagnosing your car with the data transfer function. Vehicle information very much echoes what you see between speedo and the tach; I don't know why I'd necessarily go to that one. And vehicle status gets you to things like your tire pressure monitors. When they're green, that means your pressure's good on all four tires. You can check your engine oil level; there again green engine means good. Tells you if you've got service required. Everything here is checking out okay. Your last menu item are the settings, and under here you'll find all kinds of customization for the vehicle. Everything from how the display operates, like the brightness, time and date, language and units, lighting controls go on for days, how the lights operate, when they come on, how long they stay on. And finally your door lock behavior is here, when and how the doors lock themselves. So that's your quick tour of how to get around the new iDrive system in this BMW 2009 Z4 and a lot of similar BMWs that are rapidly adopting that interface. ^M00:03:41 [ MUSIC ]