In July 2020, BMW will release its most comprehensive vehicle software upgrade to date, with new and improved features for vehicle connectivity and navigation. These features will be included straight from the factory with every BMW vehicle that has Operating System 7, such as the new BMW 5 Series. And for certain compatible BMW vehicles built before July, already in customers’ hands, these great new updates can even be added with a free over-the-air software upgrade, available from third quarter onwards.
- BMW Maps offers a completely new navigation experience: Faster, more intuitive, and more accurate. Destinations can be entered more easily. New cloud-based route calculation brings a significant improvement in performance. BMW Maps also provides contextual information for points of interest, such as ratings, business hours and images. Connected Parking also supports the search for parking spaces with additional services.
- The BMW Digital Key, which has just been announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, turns an iPhone into a fully digital – and secure – vehicle key.
- With the upgrade, BMW vehicles receive wireless support of Google’s Android Auto TM.
- The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is getting a new design and has been enhanced with numerous intelligent functions. For example, the virtual character now turns towards the person talking and can distinguish between addressing the driver and the passenger.
- Since 2018, the Remote Software Upgrade has enabled BMW drivers with compatible vehicles to keep their vehicle up to date with the latest software, just like with a smartphone. The new functions can be downloaded and installed over-the-air. This is particularly convenient and extremely fast: even for extensive upgrades, hardly more than 20 minutes of installation time is required.
2. Digital personalization with functions on demand.
Flexible offers, available immediately, simple to book and easy to use.
BMW sees the car as a digital platform. More than two decades ago, BMW ConnectedDrive paved the way to more individual mobility. Since then, the company has been enabling its customers to benefit from the rapid technological development at any time with the continuously added digital services. With Remote Software Upgrade, BMW has created the technical basis for keeping vehicles up to date, adding additional vehicle functions, and installing them quickly and easily over the air.
BMW already offers its customers digital services and additional vehicle functions in the form of digital after-sales, some of which are deeply embedded in the vehicle’s software. In the US, BMW Drive Recorder is offered through a pilot program. In the near future, additional functions will be added that can access the vehicle’s existing hardware and software, such as certain comfort functions or driver assistance systems.
With the option of subsequently booking additional vehicle functions via the ConnectedDrive Store, BMW is strengthening selection and personalization for customers, offering them maximum flexibility. BMW provides the hardware and software in the vehicle at the time of manufacture for the implementation so that it can be adapted later on as required and in accordance with customer preferences. If, for example, vehicle functions were not yet requested at the time of purchase, they can be added later. A second owner thus can configure the used vehicle according to their own wishes.
BMW is also exploring avenues to expand in-car communication in the future. BMW will be able to offer its customers tailor-made services directly in the vehicle depending on the situation – if the driver so desires.
The introduction of the BMW iNext will further expand the opportunities for personalization.
3. BMW Maps.
The new cloud-based navigation promises relaxed driving and safe arrival.
Arrive faster, safer and more relaxed: the next generation of the online routing service offers a completely new type of route guidance and usability. The cloud-based system enables a significant improvement in performance, makes navigation more agile, and impresses customers with its intuitive destination entry and high level of accuracy. BMW Maps calculates routes faster and more dynamically than before by combining real-time information with prediction models.
Free text input in the search bar ensures a contemporary user experience. As an intuitive input line, it allows free search for destinations, just like on smartphones and search engines. Of course, BMW Maps can also be controlled easily and conveniently by voice using the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
BMW Maps lists the search results based on the vehicle’s position and provides contextual information on the destination such as images, opening hours and ratings, as well as an indication of the parking situation at the destination.
The cloud-based navigation enables a continuous update of the expected arrival time. Using real-time traffic information (RTTI) as well as historical and extrapolated data, BMW Maps keeps the driver informed at all times, optimally adjusts routes and keeps an eye on potential danger spots. Thanks to the very comprehensive data volume on traffic, even on smaller streets, BMW Maps avoids unnecessary detours through residential areas.
These services are also made possible by the consolidated information from over 14 million BMW vehicles. The connected cars transmit anonymized data on current traffic conditions on-site and allow other BMW vehicles to benefit from it, for example on traffic flow or danger spots. For navigation, BMW Maps always uses the latest map material, which is regularly updated over-the-air.
More support around parking with Connected Parking services.Connected Parking supports the search for a parking space at the arrival point with various service. On-Street Parking Information not only shows the driver parking spaces, but also calculates the probability that a parking space is free based on the available data. The service now also takes the size of the vehicle into account when comparing it with the parking space ready at the destination.
4. Connected Charging.
Comprehensive charging services for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
Electrified vehicles benefit from the extended possibilities of the innovative Connected Charging services. (Specific functions and availability vary by country.) The charge management as an essential component allows customers to view details of past charging processes in the app, define specific time windows in which the car should be charged – especially helpful in the context of fluctuating electricity prices during the course of the day – and can send push notifications directly to the customer’s smartphone when charging events occur.
The services in the area of public charging have been expanded to include additional detailed information on the individual charging stations, such as opening hours, providers, or authentication options. Additionally, it displays their availability at first sight. Furthermore, points of interest such as cafés or restaurants near the charging station are listed to make the best use of charging time. The driver has optimum transparency regarding range and charging status at all times, both in the vehicle and via app. For fully electrified vehicles, a range indication in the form of a blue circle on the map overview is added.
If the BMW recognizes that the driver needs a break, it automatically suggests a suitable stopover, including available charging options. The optimized route planner for electrified vehicles proactively and automatically adds charging stations according to the route and schedule and takes rapid charging stations into account.
5. BMW Digital Key for iPhone.
BMW is the first car manufacturer to enable its customers to use their iPhone as a fully digital car key. The digital key from BMW is stored on a chip in the iPhone as a so-called secure element and communicates with the vehicle using NFC technology. It was developed according to the standards of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), to which both Apple and BMW belong.
Not only does the digital key make it possible to open and close the car without a physical key, the car can also be started via iPhone. The customer furthermore has the option of sharing the key with up to five users quickly and easily via smartphone. This technology can even regulate the vehicle’s use: for example, if the key is shared with an inexperienced or young driver, the owner of the master key can set limits for speed, power (HP) and radio volume. The digital key can also manage several vehicles simultaneously. The NFC hardware required for the digital key is available for vehicles produced from July 2020.
6. Android Auto.
The BMW Group is extending the reach of seamless connectivity in its vehicles with the introduction of Android Auto™. Android Auto is a safe and easy way to use Android smartphone functions during a journey – whether that’s music, messaging, or navigation. You can use the Google Assistant to interact with your smartphone with your voice, and see the results on your BMW’s widescreen display.
The highlights of the Android Auto at BMW are the seamless and wireless integration and the intelligent adoption of turn-by-turn guidance from Google Maps™ in the instrument cluster’s Info Display as well as in the Head-Up Display.
7. BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
A personal assistant with character in the cockpit.
The interaction between driver and vehicle will grow increasingly important in the future. Around 70 percent of BMW customers use voice commands. In the future, arguably even more BMW drivers will operate their vehicle by voice. In addition to a new design, the Intelligent Personal Assistant also has numerous new functions with the 07/20 update.
With its revised appearance, BMW is emphasizing the assistant’s agile and emotional character. The virtual assistant leans towards the respective conversation partner and can thus differentiate even more clearly between the way it addresses the driver and the passenger.
Thanks to the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, a BMW expert is always on board. The driver can ask BMW related questions and receive a wealth of vehicle information. For example, the customer can ask for tips on how to drive more efficiently. Additional functions in the car can also be controlled by voice command using the Personal Assistant – for example, to open or close the windows. In addition, the various driving modes can be activated by voice. With the help of vehicle data such as the GPS signal, the assistant can also automate the driver’s routines and adapt accordingly, for example, by automatically opening the window when entering a parking garage.
With the new update, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant provides more proactive assistance with possible voice commands to improve natural interaction. The suggestions are also displayed in the newly designed widget. These suggestions are not selected randomly but based on the respective driving situation.
8. Data Strategy.
Control and maximum benefit for the customer.
The latest BMW models are networked with their environment through numerous digital services. Many of the new services and functions that have been introduced with this latest upgrade would not be possible without adequate data. BMW Group’s strategy in dealing with data is essentially aimed at improving the comfort, safety and efficiency of products and services without compromising on security and privacy. BMW therefore only collects and uses data for specific purposes. Customers can choose which digital services they wish to use and transmit relevant data from the vehicle for this purpose. With BMW CarData, customers have transparency and control over their personal data and can decide for themselves whether and with which service providers they want to share data.
To access the CarData service in the U.S., a customer must have a telematics-enabled BMW vehicle with a built-in SIM card registered in the ConnectedDrive portal. Customers will have access to the most important telematics data from their vehicle which is securely sent from the vehicle to secure BMW servers. A customer can request a BMW CarData report at any time which shows three types of vehicle data: Condition data (such as mileage); usage-based data (such as average fuel consumption); and event data (such as an automated service call).
There is more to come, too. In the future, BMW customers will be able to use the connectivity of their vehicle for convenient third-party. This data link will happen through the secure BMW CarData system, without any direct access by third-party services to BMW vehicles. Customers stay in full control over the data that is shared, with whom, and for how long. A CarData report of the data released to third parties is available for customers to download at any time via the ConnectedDrive portal. The report contains a detailed list of the telematics data stored in connection with the vehicle and a glossary explaining key terms.