Developing the HMI of Electric Vehicles

On the Necessity of a Broader Understanding of Automotive User Interface Engineering
  • Christian Knoll
  • Roman Vilimek
  • Inken Schulze
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8519)


BMW i, as a sub-brand of the BMW Group, targets on delivering sustainable solutions for individual mobility. One of the most important steps on this path was the introduction of the all-electric BMW i3 in 2013. In order to design not only the vehicle in itself, but also especially the newly developed electric vehicle related functions for optimal customer experience, the HMI design process substantially relied on repeated usability testing and large international field trials. With more than 34 million test kilometers absolved during the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE field trials an extraordinary knowledge base about customer needs related to e-mobility contributed valuable input to the development of the user interface of the BMW i3 and HMI challenges beyond the vehicle like charging wallbox, smartphone app and web portal related to driving electric.The paper reports on the unique process of defining the user interface of the BMW Group’s first purpose-designed electric vehicle including the non-vehicle-based e-mobility infrastructure components. Based on selected use cases, the interplay between evolutionary steps in the HMI and continued usability testing shows how user-centered design is applied for a completely new kind of vehicle, thus providing insights on the necessities of iterative testing for disruptive innovations.


MINI E BMW ActiveE BMW i3 BMW i user interface HMI ConnectedDrive 360° Electric BMW iRemote App web portal wallbox Pure & Pro charge AC DC car sharing DriveNow ChargeNow eDRIVE 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Knoll
    • 1
  • Roman Vilimek
    • 2
  • Inken Schulze
    • 2
  1. 1.BMW Group, User Interface Concept BMW iGermany
  2. 2.BMW Group, Concept QualityMunichGermany

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