BMW will be releasing a vehicle software upgrade this month with new and improved features for vehicle connectivity and navigation, according to the German automaker. This will be its most comprehensive software upgrade to date, and the revisions will be included from the factory for every new BMW model that features Operating System 7, such as the latest G30 5 Series LCI, it said.
BMW vehicles built before July which are compatible with the system, which are already in the customers’ care can have the new features added through a free over-the-air software upgrade from the third quarter of the year onwards, the automaker said.
Updates applied include BMW Maps that is made to be faster, more intuitive and more accurate, says BMW, as a new cloud-based route calculation enables a significant improvement in performance, it says. Real-time traffic information as well as historical and extrapolated data are used, and BMW Maps avoids unnecessary detours through residential areas through its comprehensive volume of data.
Also added are contextual information for points of interest, such as ratings, business hours and location images, and BMW Maps can be controlled by voice with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
Connected Parking has been updated to support searching for parking spaces, with additional services. This includes on-street paring information which not just shows the driver the parking spaces, but also takes into account the size of the vehicle when comparing it with the parking situation on site, says BMW.
The update also helps drivers of these newer BMW PHEV models navigate areas which restrict access based on emissions. BMW eDrive Zones employs geofencing to switch the vehicle into pure electric vehicle mode when entering low emissions zones, and the eDrive Zones function is currently available in more than 80 European cities.
BMW Points will be offered in the future as part of a loyalty programme, and these can be collected through drives conducted in emissions-free mode. These points are doubled when the BMW PHEV is driven in eDrive Zones in pure electric mode, the company says.
For electric and electrified BMWs, Connected Charging enables users to observe details of past charging processes in the mobile app, define specific times of the day in which to allow charging of the car, as well as to send push notifications to the user’s smartphone when charging events take place.
Where public charging is concerned, Connected Charging services now includes additional, detailed information on individual charging stations such as operating hours, providers or authentication options. Availability of these service are displayed at first sight, says BMW. Points of interest near the charging stations such as restaurants are listed for the driver’s best use of charging time.
Information such as charging status and available range are available to the driver at all times, both in the vehicle and through the mobile app. Fully electrified BMWs will offer a range indication in the form of a blue circle overlaid upon a map view.
If the vehicle detects that the driver needs a break, a suitable stop will be suggested, one with available charging options. The onboard route planner automatically adds charging stations according to the route and schedule, and also takes into account the available rapid charging stations.
The update which rolls out this month also supports the Digital Key function for iPhone users. Once again, the G30 5 Series LCI is the first to support the new feature, and nearly every model in the BMW line-up will support Digital Key (Apple calls theirs CarKey) usage, with a few exceptions.
This upgrade to the Operating System 7.0 also brings wireless Android Auto, which adds wireless connectivity for users of Android-based mobile devices in addition to wireless Apple CarPlay for Apple iOS mobile device users, which is already supported in Operating System 7.