BMW announced today it will support a rather obscure feature from Apple called iPod Out, which will allow future BMW and Mini owners to view the iPod layout on the car's center console screen. The feature will function with BMW’s iDrive control system.
The iPod Out feature allows users to see artist info and album art the same way they would appear on a classic iPod even thought the system is only available on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Users will also browse their music library with the iPod navigation menu, which might be more intuitive than BMW’s current system.
iPod Out will also allow you to access custom playlists and use Apple’s Genius system, which creates instant “smart playlists." Some other automakers, including Nissan, display album artwork but don't include other iPod features.
Since this is a port technology, it’s assumed that any interface upgrades on your iPhone or iPod would translate seamlessly to your BMW or Mini screen.
To use iPod Out, you will need an iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPod Touch (second and third generations) running Apple's iOS 4 operating system.
Additional photos below: