BMW ready to up the 'infotainment' factor with ConnectedDrive
BMW's ConnectedDrive infotainment technology will be available in Ireland for the first time from July 1.
Owners will be able to download packages which include remote services, TeleServices, a new BMW navigation system, real-time traffic information, the internet in your car and third-party apps (including Twitter and Facebook) direct to a SIM card in their car.
ConnectedDrive will be available as an optional upgrade for all new BMWs from next month with the exception of the 1 Series coupe, the 3 Series convertible and the X6.
Expect the technology to become standard across all BMWs from 2015, with drivers paying only for the add-on packages.
Initially there will be three packages, priced between €730 and €2,833, depending on model and number of services.
ConnectedDrive connects to the best available 3G network, with no roaming charges. It currently interfaces easily with Apple's iOS operating system, with plans to link up with Android phones.
Users can update their package through the ConnectedDrive Store from their home computer, smartphone, tablet or direct from the car for the first time.
Each new owner will be given a personalised 'home page', specific to the vehicle's chassis number. This will offer a portal from which they can make use of apps which allow them to, as examples, pre-heat their car, find your car in a busy car park, and find and book a restaurant (foodie fans, we asked Munich's Concierge service to recommend an Italian restaurant in Dublin and they offered Balducci's on Westmoreland Street).
Two months after launching in China, BMW now fields 5,000 Concierge calls a day, a spokesman told Independent Motors.
Some elements of ConnectedDrive available on the continent, such as the ability to download albums and being able to dictate a text message using voice recognition technology, will not be available from launch in Ireland, but they are expected in the near future.
Owners will make use of the ConnectedDrive services with the in-car iDrive controller which current BMW owners may be familiar with.
Third party apps will be available as long as they meet BMW's requirement for distraction-free operation. Internet access, for example, is only available when the car is stationary.