Between the seamless connection between our computers and mobile devices, our digital lives are more connected to our actual lives than ever before. BMW advances things to the next logical step: integrating the car to our data streams.
Car manufacturers already have loads of companion apps for their vehicles, but the BMW i Connected Mobility research app reveals the potential for such apps to be more useful and less gimmicky. With the help of an integrated SIM card, such as the one found standard in the i3, the BMW i Connected Mobility app directly links the car with your smartphone, smartwatch, or even TV.
The app and car are connected to a BMW ConnectedDrive server, allowing users to create an access a “mobility agenda” from a multitude of devices. Your journey starts at home, with any smart TV connected to the interned. The TV can access existing i Remote functions like checking on a car’s charge status or see if doors are locked. A range map can also be called up to show just how far the BMW can travel on its current charge.
The new features involve synchronizing things on a digital calendar, which allows the application to create an agenda based on where you have to go. It also assists in intermodal route planning.
Here’s an example: Say someone has to run a few errands near the house before heading into a city. The intermodal route planning will assist in mapping out the best way to get to all of these points, factoring walking and public transport as options. The BMW i Connected Mobility app might suggest a drive route nearby then take you to catch a train headed to the city, then provide walking directions via app or smartwatch.
If users prefer to drive the whole way, the app remembers this and applies it to the next route planning session.
The dedicated connection to your car also makes the vehicle itself easier to find. A driver may know which parking garage they left the car, but do they remember which level? Maps, arrows and distance info on a smartphone or smartwatch will lead them right back.
Speaking of smartwatches, BMW gives them the functions of an i Remote app and enhances them. Vehicles can be programmed to recognize the driver, and, with specific gestures, the car can be locked or unlocked.
Before we know it, the cars we use to commute will also be our digital assistants on wheels.