New Connected+ features incorporate new elements, including Amazon’s Alexa.

July 31st, 2017 by

BMW recently released a teaser about the massive update it made to its Connected Services. These changes are coming to your BMW very soon and showcase several intriguing new features. The development team that created BMW’s Connected content collaborates from five different locations across the globe – Munich, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mountain View and Chicago, which surely lends an international flair and approach to the brand’s digital offerings.

They are calling the latest revision simply “Connected+”, and includes Send Routes to Car, Share Live Trip Status, Navigate Door-to-Door and My Destinations, all of which offer a comprehensive suite of features that integrate across all your devices and your Ultimate Driving Machine.

Enter a destination on your phone and send it to your BMW, which in turn asks you to choose an arrival time. Once you do, the Mobility Cloud, BMW’s backend AI, monitors traffic patterns and driving conditions to establish if a change in your departure time is prudent.

There’s also new interaction with home management systems like Amazon’s Alexa, allowing for a host of hands-free, wireless interaction with your car, such as telling Alexa to “cool my BMW”, “Check my battery range” or “when is my next departure time”. And, thanks to Alexa’s open-sourced “Skill” ecosystem, perhaps future users will enjoy a selection of “homebrew” integrations from Alexa’s thriving user’s amateur development scene.

Once inside your BMW, you can enjoy real-time info on your schedule – predicted arrival times, upcoming events and recommended departure times – all easily requested by voice. The infotainment system can be operated by voice, as well, allowing you to display your daily calendar, navigate menus and choose options. Meanwhile, Connected+ is monitoring driving conditions and traffic real-time. If, say, traffic appears to jeopardize your timely arrival to that future important meeting, it will suggest an earlier departure time.

And, if you are actually running late, BMW Connected+ allows you to share your arrival time and real-time route with an individual or group on your contact list, a handy available feature to help manage expectations. Finally, once at your destination, the app can display a suite of trip data such as fuel consumed, distance traveled, time taken and average speed.

We saved the Remote View 3D for last, because it might just be the coolest feature. It uses numerous cameras and parking sensors around your BMW to yield you an overhead view of the car and its surroundings on the navigation screen. You can see some of these features in action via this YouTube link.

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