BMW i3: Virtual Assistant Assumes Role of Missing Touchscreen, Finds Strategy Analytics

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Removal of Key HMI Disrupts User Experience

Strategy AnalyticsA new expert UX evaluation from the In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has assessed the 2020 BMW i3 infotainment system. While a lack of touchscreen leads to user frustration, the i3’s virtual assistant fills the void to provide a robust HMI. Allowing users to access the content they want quickly and easily, voice control will likely be the primary HMI for more consumers in the i3 than any other vehicle.

BMW i3 User Interface Stack (Source: Strategy Analytics)

The IVX Service report “User Experience Benchmark: BMW i3” evaluates the i3’s infotainment system via a usability-focused evaluation of top in-car tasks to determine how well this design works without a touchscreen. Strategy Analytics’ infotainment benchmark algorithm derives scores for features based on how well the available features correspond to SA’s existing data on consumer interest in advanced infotainment features.

Chris Schreiner , Director, Syndicated Research UXIP and report author commented , “BMW was one of the last automakers to make the inevitable move to touchscreens, and it paid off for them in our evaluations with the 7-Series and the M8. Touchscreens allowed BMW to flatten the menu structure and allow users to more quickly and intuitively access the content they wanted. The BMW i3, however, is a reminder that infotainment without a touchscreen is an often frustrating experience. This is especially true for connected media and satnav functions, which consumers are increasingly demanding and using in cars.”

Added Kevin Nolan, VP UXIP , “It should also act as a reminder that while utilizing the same or similar infotainment systems across an OEM’s model line saves money, removing key HMI can also significantly disrupt the user experience.”

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