An update in coming soon to BMW Connected that will increase services and give special enhancements for BMW i electric vehicles. Features include eco-friendly charging, improved trip planning, financial service integration and a new convenience store. The update is expected sometime in fall. BMW is one of the few automakers to offer wireless iPhone and Android smartphone charging as well as wireless EV/Hybrid iBattery charging.
BMW Connected links the owner’s car with their digital lifestyle. The technology is seamlessly integrated and in-tune with the individual needs and context of each user. Amazon Alexa, iPhone, Android smartphones and AppleWatch all connect BMW Connected cars.
In just one year BMW Connected – complete with its increasingly advanced in-car integration and range of new services – was launched in 29 markets, where it is now redefining the mobility experience both inside and outside BMW cars with great success. By June 2017, the number of BMW Connected users worldwide had already passed the one million mark.
The new release of BMW Connected will also introduce several enhancements to the personal trip planning experience which allows even more personalization. With the BMW ID users can set up their own portable, digital customer profile, where all of their preferred settings and services are stored and – thanks to the Open Mobility Cloud – can be transferred to other BMW vehicles. So, if customers change cars in the future, they can still access all their personal services and pre-set functions using their BMW ID. The focus is therefore not on a specific car, but on the driver.
One example of this focus on personalization has been the learned destination capability within BMW Connected, whereby the service automatically learns the user’s Home and Work locations, as well as the user’s commuting patterns. With the new version, these capabilities for understanding the customer’s daily mobility requirements will be expanded. For example, the customer’s most frequently visited fuel station brands will be learned and automatically prioritized in future fuel searches.
The services developed specifically for BMW i are tailored to the demands and requirements of electric mobility. For example, the driver’s electric car is integrated seamlessly into their day-to-day digital life. BMW Connected already offers a rapid overview of all relevant vehicle data (including range and available charge), which can be called up using various touchpoints, such as smartphones and smartwatches. And soon, in addition to the existing capabilities of requesting trip and door status information via Alexa or controlling the vehicle via Remote Services, all vehicle information will also be shown within BMW Connected. With one click the user gets detailed door and window status information. With this feature, users will be able to verify that each door and window is secure or know exactly which needs to be locked or closed.
Another newly integrated feature of BMW Connected is the BMW Digital Charging Service, which allows vehicles to be charged using eco-friendly power and at minimised cost. The BMW Digital Charging Service is integrated into the energy market and, when it comes to charging the car, automatically searches for the most cost-efficient and renewable charging times. The owner also has the option of seamlessly incorporating cost-free, self-generated solar energy into the charging process. Here, the system always ensures the car is fully charged by the desired departure time.
BMW Connected provides each BMW driver with outstanding support through its personalized Aftersales Services. Customers see a reminder of upcoming maintenance and repair appointments and, in certain markets like the UK and USA, can schedule service appointments directly via the app.
Additionally, a connection to BMW Financial Services has been integrated giving drivers fast access to relevant information like contract or payment details of their BMW as well as Self-Services. In a first step this service will be implemented for users in France and UK, further markets will follow.
The redesign of the BMW ConnectedDrive Store also serves the mission of driver focus. The new Store offers the full range of digital services and BMW ConnectedDrive services– e.g. Online Entertainment, Real Time Traffic Information, remote services – and allows users to access them anytime, anywhere online. Available to customers in 24 countries since June 2017, the new Store (www.bmw-connecteddrive.com) makes it easier to cast an eye over the personal services and to access new services.
“Alexa, Start My BMW”
BMW Group is systematically expanding the intelligent connectivity capabilities of its vehicles by seamlessly integrating the highly versatile Alexa, Amazon’s voice-controlled personal assistant, into all BMW and MINI models from mid-2018. The innovative inclusion of a cloud-based voice service will enable BMW Group customers to access a variety of services, entertainment features and shopping facilities while on the move by simple voice interaction. Tens of thousands of Alexa skills that can be accessed from Echo devices will now be available for in-car use, too.
BMW Connected skill for Alexa has been available since September 2016. This has allowed BMW Connected users in the USA, Germany and the UK to ask Alexa to check vehicle information such as the state of charge or fuel level, or control their car via Remote Services from the comfort of their home. Alexa also makes it possible to consult appointments or scheduled routes and departure times with the help of the BMW Connected mobility agenda. The availability of Alexa in the car now makes it possible to use functions enjoyed at home while out on the road as well.
Today, 8.5 million BMW Group models worldwide are already connected. The vast number of services and infotainment features that can be controlled by voice commands in BMW models have paved the way for the forthcoming connectivity options and new digital services. A smartphone is not required to benefit from Alexa in the car, as all BMW models and selected MINI vehicles come equipped with a built-in SIM card. The resultant provision of online accessibility anywhere, anytime allows the seamless integration of Alexa.
For example, customers can find out which movies are currently showing at the local cinema, listen to their favorite playlist or find out the weather at their destination by voice command while on the move. And if the driver realizes midway through a journey that they have forgotten something, they can ask Alexa to place an online order. Alexa can also show relevant content for certain skills (visual feedback) in the BMW Display Screen or MINI Centre Instrument.
From mid-2018 Amazon Alexa will be available in all BMW and MINI vehicles in USA, UK and Germany.