Expert Insights

New Mini Cooper EV Will Feature All-New Operating System

Laurance Yap
August 1, 2023
A new-generation Mini Cooper is coming, and it will be available in both gasoline and electric versions. At the centre of the driving experience is a new circular touchscreen that Mini calls the Interaction Unit.
Several screen views of the new Mini OS displaying GPS, speed, efficiency and more

New MINI Cooper: Electric and Gas

The next-generation Mini Cooper is just around the corner, and it will be available in both fuel-efficient gasoline and electric versions. We’ve shared what details we know about the new EV Mini, but until now, didn’t have a glimpse of its interior. And it turns out that interior will be pretty spectacular, thanks to a unique circular touchscreen and brand-new operating system.

New Mini OS welcome screen

Circular OLED Touchscreen Tech

Mini calls the new central control system the Mini Interaction Unit. It’s a round OLED display, almost a foot in diameter, which will blend perfectly into the interior of the new Mini family. Both gasoline and electric Mini models will have the Interaction unit, which is positioned centrally so it can be used comfortably by the driver and front-seat passenger.

The Interaction Unit will be running a brand-new operating system, called Mini Operating System 9, which has a specific, and apparently emotionally engaging design that has been optimized for touch control. Built on an Android open-sourced software stack, the operating system integrates up to eight “experience modes.” These modes encompass drive settings, the use of interior lighting, the engine or electric motor sound, and other settings. There’s even an optional light projector on the back of the circular Interaction Unit that bathes the dashboard in colors and patterns to match the selected mode.

New Mini OS touch screen displaying GPS location and interface

Eight Experience Modes With Specific EV Sounds

What are those modes? Standard spec for gasoline and EV Minis will include Core, Green, and Go-Kart modes, each with its own user interface design. Core features a balance of comfort and performance; Green is set up to maximize efficiency; and Go-Kart provides the sportiest handling and the most aggressive engine or EV motor response. There is also a Personal mode, allows owners to use photos from their smartphone as backgrounds for the interaction unit, with the car automatically setting its ambient lighting to match the picture.

On the electric Mini Cooper, the experience modes will also come with a number of unmistakable driving sounds, which Mini promises will give the new EV a distinctive sound both inside and out. There are even jingles for the different experience modes, and 30 new sound signals for different information and warning functions.

MINI Personal Assistant

There will also be a personal assistant. Like a lot of new high-end luxury cars, saying, “hey Mini” will activate the personal assistant, which allows the driver or passenger to control functions by voice – including the navigation system, infotainment, climate control, sunroof, or other functions.

The navigation system itself is now cloud-based, meaning that the latest map data is always streamed live to the vehicle. And while the new electric Mini Cooper will have much more range than the outgoing model, a new function in the navigation will allow charging-optimized route planning, which calculates the fastest route to a faraway destination that incorporates rapid charging stops. Augmented reality is also available, overlaying information onto a live view of the road on the circular Interaction Unit.

Use Your Smartphone as a Key

MINI EV and gasoline drivers will now be able to access their vehicle using their smartphone as a key. The Mini Digital Key Plus provides access to Apple, Google, and Samsung phone users, who can now simply walk up to the car and unlock it, without having to take the phone out of their pocket. The digital key can be passed to friends and family who have the Mini app, making it much easier to share the vehicle with others.

Of course, given this is a next-generation Mini we are talking about, the new EV and gasoline models will both be able to receive over-the-air updates, and 5G capability should make those updates faster and more seamless than ever. Depending on the country, Mini says that software updates could also provide new functions or performance improvements free of charge.