BMW is once again underlining its leading role in digitalisation with the new Remote Software Upgrade. With the biggest and most extensive upgrade in the premium manufacturer’s history so far, more than 750,000 vehicles worldwide will receive the latest version of BMW Operating System 7 (version 07/20). It is also the largest over-the-air update ever rolled out by a European manufacturer. The upgrade includes new, expanded and enhanced functions, such as BMW Maps, Google Android Auto™ and eDrive Zones. The new software version will be available to customers in Germany from 19 October and can be downloaded to vehicles directly over the air and installed free of charge. Customers will receive a push notification in their vehicle or via BMW App on their smartphone as soon as the upgrade is available. Following launch in the German market, it will be rolled out in stages across Europe, in the US, Canada, China and the remaining international markets.
Overview of new and expanded functions
- BMW Maps offers an entirely new navigation experience. The route calculation of the first cloud-based system is significantly faster and more dynamic by combining real-time information with forecast models. It also provides additional contextual information on points of interest, such as ratings, business opening hours and photos. Destination input has also been significantly updated and is now easier and more intuitive to operate – similar to what customers are familiar with from online search engines. Examples include free text input using one-box search and autocompletion, which displays suggestions relating to relevant search words as they are being entered.
- Google Android AutoTM will be available as a new feature following the upgrade, allowing customers to use the functions of their smartphone in the car via a wireless connection. The customer can use Google Assistant or touch operation to access their apps without having to operate their smartphone directly. Google MapsTM also shows navigation guidance in the Info Display and Head-up Display.
- With this functional enhancement, the Apple Maps navigation information provided via Apple CarPlay® now includes turn-by-turn directions and lane information, which is displayed directly in the Head-up Display and in the Info Display.
- Connected Parking provides a variety of services to help find a parking space upon arrival. On-street Parking Information not only shows the driver where parking can be found, but also calculates the probability that a parking space will be free from available fleet data, for instance. The service now also considers the size of the vehicle model and compares it with the parking situation at the destination.
- eDrive Zones is a new digital service – the only one of its kind worldwide – that helps customers drive their BMW plug-in hybrid in a more environmentally conscious manner. By means of geofencing, the vehicle automatically switches to pure electric drive mode when entering a green zone. eDrive zones have already been established in over 90 European cities.
- The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant has a new and more emotional appearance, can distinguish whether the driver or passenger is speaking and orientates itself towards the person it is talking to. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant also provides more proactive assistance with possible voice commands and suggestions are displayed in the redesigned widget. The virtual character has also been expanded to include new voice commands – for example, for operating electric windows, switching drive modes (between COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO) or asking for tips on how to drive more efficiently.
- Connected charging makes mobility more sustainable and innovative. The display indicating where public charging posts are located has been expanded to include additional details, such as opening hours, providers or authentication options, and availability can be viewed immediately. Points of interest, such as cafés or restaurants in the vicinity of the charging post, are also listed.
- The Smart Opener function for the tailgate can now be individually configured or, if preferred, completely deactivated.
Remote Software Upgrade and rollout.
Since BMW Operating System 7 was introduced in 2018, BMW drivers have been able to keep their vehicle up to date with the latest software by means of the Remote Software Upgrade. The new functions can be downloaded quickly and conveniently to the car over-the-air. Installation files are prepared in the vehicle in the background; once this is complete, it rarely takes more than 20 minutes for actual installation, even in the case of major upgrades.
Due to the situation with the coronavirus and its impact on availability of support capacity, rollout of the current upgrade may be delayed in individual markets. It is also important to remember that availability of individual services and enhancements may vary, depending on vehicle equipment options and the region. Vehicles with BMW Operating System 7 produced from July 2020 on already come with the latest version, including all additional functions. Customers can view the software version and check for available upgrades in the vehicle settings under Remote Software Upgrade. Remote Software Upgrade is now available for over 20 BMW models and thus for almost the entire BMW fleet.