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The 3 Generations of BMW Navigation Explained

Mar 24, 2020

The BMW Navigation System Professional

BMW’s Navigation System Professional have been through many rounds of improvement over the years since 2003. The following three generations mark the three milestone updates of the BMW navigation.

3 Generations of the BMW Navigation System in a Glance

  1. Navigation System Professional CCC (Car Communication Computer)
  2. Navigation System Professional CIC (Car Information Computer)
  3. Navigation System Professional CIC – HIGH (Car Information Computer – HIGH)

See our complete guide on how to use BMW’s navigation system

1. Navigation System Professional CCC (Car Communication Computer)Debuted in 2003, the CCC was first introduced on the E60 and E61 BMW 5 Series with an 8.8-inch display screen. The first real-time operating system installed was made by Wind Rivers VxWorks. This model allowed DVD map updates which were produced by Navteq.

Removal of the Haptic Feedback from iDrive

Between 2007 and 2008, this model received several updates which included a better direct access to frequently used functions as well as the removal of the haptic feedback from the iDrive controller. The haptic feedback recreated a sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions back to the user.

2. Navigation System Professional CIC – (Car Information Computer)The CIC System was first introduced in September 2008 with the F01/F02 7 Series. The CIC model replaced the CCC with a higher resolution display and a more responsive iDrive controller manufactured by Becker which utilized a QNX operating system. Along with internet access, the original maps used were created from TeleAtlas.

Music Storage and DVD Option

The new system also included an 80 GB hard disk drive. You could upload and store up to 8 GB of music files for playback via the USB port in the glove box. In 2009 the CIC iDrive supported DVD video. However, the videos were only displayed when the car was in a parked position, meanwhile, the audio would continue to play during the drive.

3. Navigation System Professional CIC – HIGH (Car Information Computer – HIGH) In 2012, The CIC – High was debuted as the BMW’s Professional Navigational System and was referred to as the “Next Big Thing.” BMW’s Professional Navigation System or iDrive featured a 10.2-inch display screen, a 1.3 GHz processor, and a 20 GB hard drive for multimedia data. The update reduced the navigation’s initial loading time to less than 20 seconds after starting the car.

3D Navigation Map

The 3D chip installed to allow a 3D detailed map display of the city included streets and building photos. Along with a few noticeable cosmetic enhancements, the screen was updated with a black background to deliver a higher contrasted animation. The display also faded in and out for an engaging and modern user experience.


BMW significantly improved the calculation and routing to a destination with the addition of ECO PRO. ECO PRO is a driving function that helps to reduce fuel consumption. Improvements were also seen with the more fluent voice command and the multifunctional instrument display (navigation display) with more user-friendly guidance instructions.

Split Screen

Another highlight of the new display was the split screen widget available through the navigation. It provided additional insights such as the weather and pictures of the destination.

The Latest BMW Professional Navigation Receives Over the Air Software Update

In today’s new BMWs, the updated Navigation System Professional provides us with real-time traffic information (RTTI) and automatic over-the-air map update technology (or Software-Over-The-Air “SOTA”) via mobile phone networks using the mobile SIM card installed.

The great thing is that there is no license charge or transmission cost to users so that you can receive map updates conveniently and promptly.