The new MINI family is taking a leap into the digital age and celebrating a premiere: the MINI Interaction Unit is the first round OLED display that has ever been used in an automobile.
What’s the best way to describe the new MINI model family? Advanced and equipped with the latest technology, as intelligent as it is emotional, inspirational and ... characteristically MINI. Full of energy, ingenuity and uniqueness – these brand-specific values are also taking MINI into a digital, fully electric future.
Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management at BMW AG, responsible for Development, adds: “We are bringing our entirely new MINI family to the starting line with a unique technology package. It relies on the latest tech stack from BMW and offers distinctive, brand-appropriate functions, such as the Experience Modes or the voice assistant, in a very specifically MINI design. The result is a highly advanced digital fireworks, with a great love of details.”
At the core of the new MINI models is the MINI Interaction Unit, which offers something unique in the automotive industry: a round OLED display with a diameter of 240 millimetres. The user interface dovetails seamlessly into the new design language “Charismatic Simplicity” by combining functional items with emotional elements.
The MINI Operating System 9 manifests the software expertise of the BMW Group in a MINI specific and emotional way. As an in-house development of the BMW Group, it is based for the first time on an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) software stack. The touch-optimised operation of the MINI Operating System 9 is very intuitively designed, following established standards in consumer electronics. Up to eight different MINI Experience Modes are available, including Go-Kart – drawing on motorsport DNA – and Green for sustainability awareness. These optionally contribute to an immersive driving experience through the orchestrated use of light, all-new driving sounds (for all-electric vehicles), the graphical design of the OLED display and individual driving settings. A unique jingle announces each mode, strengthening the driver’s personal connection with the MINI. Each mode immerses the driver in a separate world – up to and including Personal Mode, in which, for example, pictures from the driver’s smartphone gallery can be selected as the background of the MINI Interaction Unit.
“Hey MINI” – the MINI Intelligent Personal Assistant
Would you like to be guided by a dog called Spike? Or would you prefer to see a stylised MINI on the display? Saying the greeting “Hey MINI” or using the push-to-talk button on the steering wheel activates the valuable voice assistant. This is a first in the vehicles of the new model family. Many important functions such as navigation, making and receiving phone calls, radio and temperature can be voice-controlled. Interaction on the round OLED display takes place by means of animations made up of graphic elements, typography and an avatar – Spike, or even a stylised MINI. Using the command “Show me charging stations along the route” or “I’d like a coffee,” the navigation can be rerouted to the driver’s new preferred destination directly by voice input.
A quantum leap into the digital age
Compared to the preceding generation, the cloud-based navigation system offers hugely improved performance and highly intuitive operation when inputting the destination. It offers rapid and dynamic route calculation on the basis of precise real-time traffic data that can be combined with forecast models. And charging-optimised route planning means drivers of fully electric MINIs can take on their longer journeys with peace of mind.
Thanks to the MINI Digital Key Plus, vehicles in the new model generation can be unlocked using a smartphone. Drivers can unlock their vehicle and get going without taking their smartphone out of their pocket. The “share” function makes it possible for the digital key to be passed to friends or family members.
As part of the BMW Group, the MINI brand benefits from the company’s expertise in terms of over-the-air updates. With well over 5 million vehicles, BMW Group has the largest completely upgrade-enabled fleet in the industry. As such, in future new MINI models will also receive regular Remote Software Upgrades, so that the vehicles are always fully updated.
With the new model family, MINI is taking a quantum leap into the digital age. A new era is beginning, full of brand-specific digital experiences for all current and future fans of the brand.