Android Automotive OS: BMW starts second development branch for OS 8

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From March 2023, BMW will also be using Android Automotive OS (AAOS) from Google for the operating system for the infotainment system and will develop its own BMW Operating System 8 on this basis. In a brief press release, the company describes this as a second technology path and not a change.

At the Automotive Electronics Congress in Ludwigsburg, Stephan Durach, Senior Vice President Connected Company and Development Technical Operations at the BMW Group, gave an outlook on the company's plans. According to this, BMW's own OS 8 in “certain series” should receive a second technology path based on AAOS (test), which exists alongside the path based on Linux. BMW is not planning a complete switch to AAOS, but wants to go two ways in the future.

AAOS path is designed for touch and speech

< p class="p text-width">Taking into account the fact that the diversification of BMW OS 8 will not start until March 2023, information on the specific implementation is unsurprisingly still sparse. According to the announcement, the different software platforms should enable individual versions of the infotainment system. In addition, the extended operating system can be used in different vehicle series. When asked about the company, it was said that the AAOS-based version would only be designed for touch and voice operation, while the Linux version would also be designed for physical controls.

Development already visible in the first stages

This split is no coincidence when looking at vehicles like the new 2 Series Active Tourer (test) that no longer have an iDrive controller. In this model, the central control display is positioned closer to the driver, so BMW decided against using the rotary wheel. Series such as the iX or the new 7 Series, on the other hand, use a layout with an iDrive controller on the center console. This suggests that the AAOS branch of BMW OS 8 is intended for the smaller series.

No Google services

In contrast to the implementation of AAOS, such as at Polestar, BMW will not rely on Google's services, but will only use the operating system as a substructure to implement its own BMW OS 8, the will be based on the already known Linux path in terms of design and will therefore continue to be recognizable as a BMW product. However, AAOS enables BMW to integrate apps developed for AAOS and, for example, a white label store for these apps. “Customers benefit from tailor-made, individual and extended digital functions and offers,” explains the manufacturer.

Remote software upgrades are also to be carried out regularly for the BMW OS 8 based on AAOS are offered that integrate new features or optimize existing ones.