BMW upgrades to Connected+ image

The German automaker is well aware that some buyers – even of models from its brand – are not overly concerned with horsepower or fuel consumption, but with the list of high-tech features.

BMW was at the forefront of the digital technology revolution in the automotive industry way back in 2001 when it debuted the BMW 7 Series with the first version of the iDrive system. Now BMW is looking to keep up with the latest advancements of the new, online digital era, by renaming and upgrading its suite of connected features to BMW Connected +. Among the services included we can note audio streaming from Spotify or advanced in-car security systems that will automatically call for help in case of an unfortunate event. The Bavarian carmaker is also ready to join Tesla by offering over-the-air, or OTA, updates to help streamline the user experience.

Most features are developed in-house – like the OTA – but it also has numerous partners, chief among them being Microsoft, which actually developed the nderlying platform for BMW Connected +. “We have a target by next year that all cars we bring to market will be BMW Connected Cars,” comments Dieter May, the head of digital products and services. The Connected + system links the vehicle to the cloud and users having one of the new Alexa personal assistant devices from Amazon, the Echo and Echo Dot, can also control their cars from a distance.