16 October 2016

The personalised digital mobility companion from BMW.

Text/Photos: The BMW Group


Singapore. BMW Asia today launched the availability of BMW Connected in Singapore, an all-encompassing digital concept that provides a seamless services experience covering all aspects of personal mobility. BMW Connected uses a flexible platform called the Open Mobility Cloud as a basis, and seamlessly integrates the vehicle into the user’s digital life via multiple touchpoints, such as an iPhone or Apple Watch. BMW Connected focuses on journey management for the vehicle, featuring digital products and services designed to simplify the day-to-day planning of driving routes and appointments: BMW Connected gets the user to their destination on time and stress-free.

“Over the coming years, digitalisation is set to have a substantial impact on how we use our cars: digital services will emerge that connect us fully with our personal world, no matter whether we’re out on the road or at home. The car will be transformed into a smart device – intelligently connected, seamlessly integrated and perfectly tuned to the individual needs of each and every user. This is precisely what the first version of BMW Connected aspires to achieve,” explains Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Business Models at the BMW Group.

The functions of BMW Connected.

With BMW Connected, mobility extends beyond the vehicle. BMW Connected is a digital companion offered in the form of an app and combines the various functions that assist with everyday mobility requirements. Once the user has set up a ConnectedDrive account and completed a short online registration process, they can create their BMW Connected customer profile quickly and easily. From this moment, BMW Connected scans for any mobility-related information, such as the addresses and arrival times contained in calendar entries, and notifies the driver of the ideal departure time for arriving at their destination punctually on the basis of real-time traffic information. BMW Connected is also handy for transferring places and points of interest from other apps, storing them as a destination together with the desired arrival time, and then effortlessly importing them to BMW in-car navigation systems with just a few clicks. In the case of hybrid and BMW i models, relevant data such as the remaining range or battery charge can be retrieved remotely and factored into journey planning. The locations of charging stations can also be searched for and sent easily from the application directly to the in-car navigation systems.

Putting an end to arriving late.

To ensure punctual arrival, the BMW Connected functions include “time to leave” notifications, which are sent to the user’s smartphone or Apple Watch to let them know when they have to set off in order to arrive on time. To do this, the expected driving time is regularly compared with the prevailing traffic situation. Any significant changes in the situation are highlighted in colour in the app to make sure the driver still arrives at their destination on schedule. The “Personal Learned Destinations” function recognises places the user drives to regularly and automatically stores them as favourite destinations, which can be accessed with a single click whenever required. This is supplemented by BMW Connected’s ability to also recognise personal mobility patterns, such as the daily drive home from work. If abnormal traffic conditions would cause the user to arrive home late, for instance, BMW Connected takes action by alerting the user and suggesting the earlier departure time it has calculated for arriving home at the usual time. These functions together provide an easy and convenient way of planning the schedule for the day.

Destination entry in the navigation system with just one click.

The time-consuming manual input of destination addresses in the navigation system is set to become a thing of the past. Assuming that the destination address and desired arrival time have been set outside the vehicle using BMW Connected, the link between iPhone and car means this data is imported when the user climbs aboard. It is then promptly transferred to the BMW navigation system, allowing route guidance to be started directly. Once the journey has begun, a pre-worded SMS message containing the current arrival time can be sent straight from the vehicle to selected contacts, such as the people attending a meeting. A few clicks on the iDrive Controller is all it takes. However, where users park their car is often not the journey’s end point. Cue “Last Mile Navigation”, which shows them the best way to get to their final destination on their mobile device as well as “First Mile Navigation” – the route back to the user’s vehicle. Besides all this, the familiar BMW Remote Services have likewise been incorporated into BMW Connected, allowing a variety of functions – such as the interior climate control, vehicle locking and unlocking, and operating the horn and headlight flasher – to be controlled remotely from a smartphone. The vehicle’s current location completes the information available to the user.

What the future holds for BMW Connected.

BMW Connected and the functions it comprises are subject to ongoing development and are constantly being adapted to customer requirements. At the same time, the functions of existing BMW ConnectedDrive apps, such as My BMW Remote, BMW i Remote and BMW Connected Classic, are being gradually transitioned to BMW Connected. The customer experience of every aspect of mobility is also being continuously expanded and improved, including smart home monitoring and control and integration into other relevant digital ecosystems. The flexible architecture of BMW Connected furthermore facilitates the implementation of new functions and services. BMW will present the next update of BMW Connected in the autumn at the world premiere of the next generation BMW 5 Series.

BMW Connected will be available as a free download from the Apple App Store, and can be used in BMW vehicles with the optional extra “ConnectedDrive Services” activated.