BMW’s connected car platform is gaining exciting new features, which more deeply integrate smartphone functionality into vehicles.
This should be music to the ears of today’s always-online motorists. BMW Connected+ will lead the charge to put more power at drivers’ fingertips. When this system goes live later in the month, users of Apple iOS, Google Android and Amazon Alexa-equipped devices will have easy access to a range of functions.
Making it easier to safely navigate to a destination, BMW owners will now be able to send drive routes directly to their vehicle through a simplified interface. BMW Connected+ will even verify that the vehicle has enough fuel to make such a journey, suggesting places to stop for a fill-up if necessary.
Beyond somewhat common-sense capability, this system will also be able to help individuals get to their final destinations. Oftentimes where you park is not the place you’re actually going. Accordingly, Last Mile functionality hands off navigation duties via push notifications from the vehicle to a driver’s smartphone so they can walk to their end-point without getting lost. Likewise, First Mile gets them back to their car, so there’s no more forgetting where it’s parked.
In addition to providing directions, BMW Connected+ has the ability to keep tabs on your schedule. Time-to-leave notifications can alert you when to get going for a scheduled appointment by tapping into map data and real-time traffic information; there’s no more excuse to be late for meetings.
Easy access to frequent destinations is also an important part of BMW Connected+ because it can analyze your address book. Beyond this, smart search capability is baked right in, allowing you to intelligently find destinations from your contacts database, meaning, for instance, there’s no more need to manually enter a friend’s address.
Thanks to a partnership with Microsoft, BMW Connected+ will gain a couple other standout capabilities. This fall, drivers will have the ability to safely make Skype calls while on the road via an integrated app. Additionally, with the power of Microsoft Exchange working in the background, secure access to e-mail will also be available while behind the wheel, ditto for contact information and calendar entries. BMW owners will even be able to schedule appointments by voice while commuting to work.
This is just a small glimpse at the functionality included in BMW Connected+. The German automaker is striving to drive innovation and essentially become a tech company that happens to sell devices that cost tens of thousands of dollars (take that, iPhone!). Underscoring this commitment, some 8.5 million of its vehicles around the world already feature built-in SIM cards for on-the-go internet access, which powers many of these new features. We may not live in the future just yet, but BMW is making it feel damn close.
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