The Internet of Things is growing ever larger, and is now encompassing our luxury cars. In an impressive display at Thursday’s Microsoft Build, German automaker BMW unveiled the expansion of its ConnectedDrive in-car system. Called BMW Connected, the latest tech breakthrough comes in the form of a personal mobility companion app that helps with everything from appointment management to traffic notifications, and quite a lot between.
Promising to “integrate the vehicle seamlessly into the life of the consumer,” the BMW Connected platform is described as “the inception of BMW’s vision of an intelligent, highly personalized world of digital services.” Powered by Microsoft Azure, the new intelligent system depends on the Open Mobility Cloud to provide up-to-date information on traffic conditions, optimal routes, and more, even learning what your frequent destinations are and how long it typically takes you to get there.
With BMW Connected, drivers are able to use the built-in maps app (or connect a third-party application) to pull addresses from calendar events, navigate to nearby authorized BMW centers, convenient fueling and charging options, and parking locations. And even when you’re not in your car, BMW has your back. With its “last mile” walking guidance feature, you’ll be guided from your parking spot to your final destination.
And beyond giving you directions, the new connectivity app will also allow you to lock the doors, flash the lights, sound the horn, and even start ventilation remotely using your smartphone. And if you’re the proud owner of a plug-in hybrid, you’ll be able to view battery levels, electric range, and hybrid range to ensure a successful journey.
As of today, all BMW owners and iPhone-carrying Connected Drive customers can download the BMW Connected iOS app (though Android owners will have to wait a bit longer). So if you want your car to do more than just drive, Microsoft and BMW are here to say that they’ve heard your prayers, and finally have an answer.