8 New Ways to Utilize the BMW Navigation Sidebar You Should Know About

On the left hand side of the navigation are eight mini icons. Whether you like to take a route that is local and does not require taking the freeway or want a route with the shortest distance to save gas, BMW’s Professional navigation system can help.  One navigational icon at a time, we will briefly discuss their purpose and how each icon can improve your navigation experience.

1. Finish Flag Icon, Use Destination

Allows you to quickly access the navigation’s search address function by inputting house number, street, city, state, and zip code. You can also access previous destinations you have entered into the navigation which has all the addresses.

2. Audio Icon, Use Voice Instructions

You can turn on or off BMW’s navigation voice at your will when you check or uncheck this option. A few examples of the voice instructions will provide when to make necessary turns on a street, when to enter or exit a highway, when you are about to reach the destination in miles and feet.

3. Clock Icon, Route Preferences

Let’s imagine on a very stormy day you need to drive home on the shortest route possible while avoiding the highways because of traffic and accidents. The navigation is able to provide a list of options from route preferences to specific roads which you should avoid. The clock icon can split into 2 options for you to choose from. The 1st gear icon will  provide route preferences:

  • Fast. Fastest route in terms of time to get you to your destination.
  • ECO PRO. The route which helps with reducing your miles per gallon (MPG) needed for driving.
  • Short. The shortest route in terms of miles needed to travel to get to your destination.

Next you can choose what you like to avoid:

  • Highways
  • Ferries
  • Toll Roads
  • Specific Areas

Some additional options for the roadways:

  • Online Alternative Route(s)
  • Prefer Express Roadways
  • Prefer Car Pool Roadways

Alternative routes, the 2nd gear icon option provides:

  • Current Route. This route will detail the estimated time to get to your destination along with the remaining distance in miles.
  • Alternative Route. Another route available base on your route preferences to reach your destination. Also available is the fuel consumption related to the current route.
  • ECO PRO Route. This is the route where the navigation believes it will save you gas mileage. The standard time remaining and distance in miles will still apply.

4. Magnet Scope Icon, Points of Interest

This option is also available when you hit the navigation button next to your iDrive controller. Points of Interest selection allows you to quickly choose a destination that is popular or a registered business nearby like for example a Starbucks or Chevron gas station. This allows you to quickly access an address without needing to slowly input the full address.

5. Traffic Icon, Traffic Info

Stuck in traffic? This detour function will suggest a different route for you to take in traffic situations to reach your destination. You may be directed to exit the highway and take another path or just take local all the way. The bottom 4 icons allows you to see the map in a different light, giving you an eagles eye view to:

  • Traffic Information/Gray Map. The navigation will superimpose a greyish background on top to help you read the traffic flow and icons much easier.
  • Traffic Flow. Each street and highway will be highlighted with one of three colored lines green, yellow, and red. Green shows the road is clear of traffic, yellow represents there is slight traffic, and red characterizes there is heavy traffic. 
  • Traffic Icon. There will be icons indicated on your navigation screen such as construction or accidents.
  • Receive Traffic Info. Have this icon checked and turned on so that the navigation can display the traffic flow and icons on your screen.

6. Target Icon, How to Use Interactive Map

This is a faster method to reach a local destination rather than entering the entire address into the navigation by selecting a spot in the navigation on where you like to reach. 

  • Use the iDrive controller on your center console and a target symbol will appear on your navigation screen. 
  • Move the pointer utilizing your iDrive controller and point to the vicinity which you like to drive to.
  • Push down on your iDrive controller and a popup will appear. 
  • Click into the gear icon, which should be at the top, will provide a Points of Interest option in that area you have selected. 
  • Select A-Z search or category search to list out all the addresses for your desired area base on your preference. 
  • Map it in your navigation.

7. Directional Icon, How to Use Map Views

Depending on how you like to view the directional changes on your navigation when you have an address mapped, the navigation provides a few options to help optimize the view. Select the best fit view for you.

  • View Facing North
  • Direction of Travel View
  • Perspective View
  • Route Overview

8. Information Icon, How to Use Map Content

This last feature allows you to add customizations to how you can view your navigation. You can change the map into a 3D perspective and get a sense of the area as if you were actually there. Show the weather, so if it is raining you can prepare an umbrella for yourself. Below are the following features.

  • Show Points of Interest
  • Weather
  • Satellite Images
  • Perspective View in 3D
  • Additional Settings