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Aug 16, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Connected cars: BMW takes the self-driving road by making its cars connected

Unveiled at Innovation Days 2017 in Chicago (USA), BMW’s new app BMW Connected+ is the German carmaker’s attempt to connect drivers’ smartphones to its cars before they become self-driving.

Just as it is for many carmakers, car connectivity is a key area for BMW. The German marque is set to launch a significantly enhanced version of its BMW ConnectedDrive app, which has made some 8.5 million of its cars connected.

The manufacturer made an official announcement at BMW Innovation Days in Chicago (USA) in early July. As reported by AndroidPit, the BMW Connected+ app will be unveiled at the end of the month and will provide a range of new services.


8.5 million connected users in more than 29 countries


The launch is generating lots of expectation, with no fewer than one million people regularly using the ConnectedDrive app in over 29 countries. In seeking to fulfil its customers’ expectations, BMW has chosen to give the app a makeover, partly to prepare the ground for the arrival of self-driving cars. As it awaits the advent of driverless cars, BMW is looking to make the connected car more and more intelligent.

With the BMW Connected+ app, users can lock (and unlock) their car and trigger air conditioning remotely before they set off. There is also a photo function which they can use to take 3-D images of their car.

The upgrades are designed in part to save users time. As well as telling you when you need to refuel, BMW Connected + takes the initiative by scanning your diary and suggesting the best route for you to take for your journeys and also guiding you to your final destination when you are on foot. While you are on your way, it informs your friends and colleagues on the progress of your journey or commute. For companies, it is the perfect solution for ensuring their employees make the most of their time.


In-car co-working with video-conferencing


Compatible with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa, the BMW app uses Amazon Echo to carry out all sorts of tasks. « The car should no longer be seen as a means of transport, but as a supplementary addition to life », said Thom Brenner, Vice President Digital Services BMW. In teaming up with Microsoft, the German carmaker is harnessing the latest version of the Skype meetings app. Integrated with the on-board iDrive interface, the video-conferencing service will be available in the autumn for French, German and British customers, turning users’ cars into co-working spaces hosting video-conferences with up to ten participants.


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