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BMW: ConnectedDrive Enhancements to Benefit U.S. Drivers

Sections: Infotainment, Navigation, Telematics

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ConnectedDrive Press Photo

BMW says enhancements to its ConnectedDrive system will directly benefit American BMW drivers. (Photo courtesy BMW.)

BMW says enhancements to its ConnectedDrive infotainment and telematics suite will directly benefit U.S. BMW drivers by giving them more standard features and more available services.

According to the press release from BMW, the list of standard features and available features will include:

  • BMW Assist standard in nearly all 2014 models including 10 years of eCall with enhanced Automatic Collision Notification and BMW Teleservice.

  • Updated BMW iDrive 4.2 available or standard on most 2014 models with a range of enhancements and additional features.

  • BMW navigation and BMW Online standard equipment on all 2014 5, 6 and 7 Series cars as well as 2014 X5 and X6 Sports Activity Vehicles. It is optional on all other models. In addition to BMW Online, BMW navigation includes Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI)[1].

  • Concierge service is now standard on all V8 and V12 equipped 2014 6 and 7 Series models. It is now available as a standalone upgrade on most other 2014 models. The service can be initialized at the time of purchase or can be added anytime after purchase.

  •  Internet access is available as an option on 2014 models equipped with navigation and the latest BMW iDrive 4.2[2] as part on BMW Online. The internet browser is connected through the vehicle using a 3G network connection.

  • Enhanced voice command options including available message dictation and integration of both Apple Siri and Samsung SVoice through the vehicle’s voice command controls.[3]

  • Expanded availability of BMW Apps-ready third party apps. In addition to the apps available in the US today – including Pandora, MOG, Stitcher and Aupeo – new BMW Apps that will be available soon include Audible, TuneIn, Rhapsody and Glympse with more to follow. Later this year, BMW Apps integration will be available for devices with the Android operating system.

In addition, BMW said its BMW Assist emergency services connection will come standard on “nearly every model” in 2014 ahead of European Union regulations requiring all cars to have an automatic emergency call-out feature by 2015.

“BMW Assist eCall offers this function today with far greater capability than will be required by law,” the release said.

“Should an airbag be deployed, for instance, the system will transmit an automatic emergency call to the BMW call centre including the precise location of the accident site.”

Wanna deep dive on BMW Assist eCall? Quoth the release:

BMW Assist eCall includes enhanced Automatic Collision Notification, which includes the groundbreaking Urgency Algorithm, developed in cooperation with the William Lehman Injury Research Center in Miami.

Apart from the vehicle’s exact position and direction of travel, details of the vehicle model and all the data gathered by the sensors in the car are relayed to the call centre as well. This information provides indications as to the nature and severity of the collision, while the deployment of the car’s restraint systems gives an idea of the number of people injured and allows frontal, rear, side or even multiple collisions to be identified and differentiated.

The Urgency Algorithm transmits the likelihood of severe injury. On the basis of all accident-related data, the call center decides which and how many emergency services are required at the accident site (e.g. doctor, paramedic, fire brigade, helicopter). The data also enables the first responders to alert the appropriate medical care for those involved in the accident before they have even arrived at the scene. The call center will also stay in contact with the vehicle’s occupants until the emergency services arrive, speaking to them in their native language where possible. As well as automatic activation, the system also allows the driver or front passenger to trigger the emergency call manually in order to help other road users in distress by alerting the call center.

Meanwhile, BMW’s TeleService will inform the driver when maintenance is required, the automaker says it is continuing the “evolution” of its iDrive infotainment control interface, changes are being made to the navigation system to make it easier for Americans to find their way around, and enhancements are being made to BMW’s Bluetooth connectivity so that, for instance, you can control your Apple iPod Touch playlists via the car’s controls sans wired connection.

Other enhancements include BMW Online– an internet browser available to subscribers while the vehicle is stationary– Apple Siri and Samsung SVoice access, Concierge Service on all V8- and V12-equipped 6 and 7 Series cars, more natural speech recognition, an expanding suite of online ConnectedDrive services, and LTE mobile high-speed internet connectivity abilities in every car.

The list of enhancements is really quite long and detailed (my, how very German of BMW!) To read it for yourself, click here.

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