Tag Archives: BMW

NEW BMW MOTORCYCLE WITH CONNECTEDRIDE POWERED BY VODAFONE

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  • BMW K 1600 GT with built-in Vodafone SIM card for emergency calls
  • Connected riding improves road traffic safety

BMW have launched its new performance touring bike, the K 1600 GT. It’s the first BMW model with an optional eCall service via the Vodafone SIM card on board. The BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide eCall/ ACN (Emergency Call/ Automatic Collision Notification) system uses networks throughout Europe – to get help to accident scenes as quickly as possible and improve road traffic safety. Over 2.5 million BMW cars are already digitally connected by Vodafone as standard.

“The first BMW motorcycle with the eCall system shows just how many possibilities there are for the Internet of Things. And this is just the beginning. It is estimated that by 2020 around 20 billion devices will be sharing data,” said Vodafone Internet of Things Director Ivo Rook.

BMW‘s new K 1600 GT has a Vodafone IoT SIM card under its seat. It ensures that if the bike is involved in an accident, the BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide system can immediately contact the BMW call centre. Developed by BMW Motorrad, the system has various sensors that monitor the bike’s speed and angle to identify when it is involved in an accident and trigger an emergency call. The rider can also use an SOS button on the handlebars to contact the BMW call centre. At the same time, other important information such as the bike’s location is transmitted. Depending on how severe the accident is, the BMW call centre alerts the emergency services or attempts to contact the driver via the bike’s built-in audio system. This system allows the rescue services to arrive at the accident site up to 50% faster.

Vodafone transmits the emergency calls Europe-wide via its international mobile communications network. When calls are made from abroad, the caller is always assigned to a BMW call centre agent who speaks his language.

BMW Motorrad has made a video demonstrating how the eCall/ACN system works. You can watch it here.

Source: Vodafone

BMW Connected – the personalised digital mobility companion from BMW – celebrates its premiere.

 

BMW has been connecting driver and vehicle for years now with ConnectedDrive. With the launch of BMW Connected in August in selected European markets, BMW is bringing out an all-encompassing digital concept that provides a seamless services experience covering all aspects of personal mobility.

BMW has been connecting driver and vehicle for years now with ConnectedDrive. With the launch of BMW Connected in August in selected European markets, BMW is bringing out an all-encompassing digital concept that provides a seamless services experience covering all aspects of personal mobility. Using a flexible platform called the Open Mobility Cloud as a basis, BMW Connected seamlessly integrates the vehicle into the user’s digital life via multiple touchpoints, such as an iPhone or Apple Watch. The first version of BMW Connected focuses first and foremost 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 – which is initially being made available for Apple iPhone users – 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.

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. 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.

The basis for BMW Connected.
At the root of the BMW Connected concept is a flexible service architecture – the Open Mobility Cloud. This platform builds on Microsoft Azure and processes data and information from all sorts of different sources. With machine learning and data analysis capabilities also in its arsenal, it provides the basis for personalisation and context orientation of the BMW Connected services.

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 MyBMW 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. Starting in September, users in the USA will also be able to access BMW Connected via an Alexa skill for Amazon Echo, enabling them to get vehicle status like remaining range and execute remote commands like ‘door lock’, all through voice interaction. The skill integration into Amazon Echo and Alexa-enabled devices demonstrates BMW’s leading role in the area of digitalization. BMW is one of the first automobile companies to release a costumer product supporting voice services and access to vehicle information through Alexa.

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.

Launch in selected European markets.
BMW Connected has already been available on the US market since 31 March 2016. In August it will be extended to Germany, Austria, UK, Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Republic of Ireland and Luxemburg. Feedback and requests received from American users have already been incorporated into the BMW Connected version for release in Europe. It therefore comes with functions that customers in the USA will also receive as an update. Customers, their experiences and desires are vital elements in adapting BMW Connected to meet people’s needs even more effectively.

Once launched, 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.

Source: BMW

BMW expands high-performance connectivity for cars and motorcycles.

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Munich. BMW provides its vehicles with numerous pioneering services via BMW ConnectedDrive.

 

BMW provides its vehicles with numerous pioneering services via BMW ConnectedDrive. These use intelligent connectivity to enhance driving pleasure and increase safety, and are underpinned by a connection to a powerful mobile phone network linking with built-in SIM cards. Working with Deutsche Telekom, BMW has this month introduced solutions using the high-speed LTE standard, a Wi-Fi hotspot and the new eSIM.

Wi-Fi hotspot with LTE and eSIM.

BMW is using an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot to also enable super-fast internet surfing. This hotspot creates a password-protected, high-speed internet connection inside the vehicle for up to ten devices. As a result, passengers, too, can use internet services in comfort – without their device requiring its own SIM card. BMW ConnectedDrive users can order their data connection to the Wi-Fi hotspot directly via Deutsche Telekom’s HotSpot Drive portal. The high-speed LTE connection is established inside the vehicle using the new eSIM. Unlike a conventional SIM card, the eSIM can be re-configured, if required, without needing to be replaced. The Wi-Fi hotspot was integrated for the first time in the new BMW 7 Series in October 2015 and has been available for many other BMW models since July 2016.

eCall now also available for motorcycles.

BMW Motorrad is planning to offer its motorcycles with an LTE mobile phone module designed primarily to increase safety during a journey. Looking ahead, it will also be possible to make connected services available via a motorcycle or scooter’s central display under the BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide banner, to ensure data relevant to the riding experience is displayed in the most effective way possible for a motorcycle. The necessary connectivity technologies are being co-developed under the partnership with Deutsche Telekom. In the future, it is conceivable that navigation systems will allow safety information to be displayed, such as early warning alerts indicating the end of a traffic jam in a corner, for example.

BMW Motorrad will offer an eCall system (Intelligent Emergency Call) for the first time from 2017. As in BMW’s passenger cars, essential data for the rescue services can be sent to the BMW Call Centre to initiate the necessary response in the event of an accident. Added to which, a voice connection with the driver enables further important information to be passed on there and then.

SmartHome app connects BMW with the intelligent home.

The SmartHome app from Deutsche Telekom enables users to control functions in their home via their mobile phone. The app has been available since 2015 as part of BMW ConnectedDrive. Linking up with Deutsche Telekom, it allows users to adjust their house lights or heating, for example. Drivers can switch on the house lights while still on the move or adjust room temperatures to a certain level before they arrive home. The integration of third-party apps via BMW ConnectedDrive allows this house control facility to be integrated into the operating system of BMW vehicles. This not only means that the content stored on the user’s smartphone can be viewed on the Control Display, but also that all functions can be controlled intuitively, comfortably and safely using the iDrive Controller.

Source: BMW

Lampposts to Charge Electric Cars

 

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Street lights would double up as charging points for electric cars under a scheme to cut vehicle emissions, which is in line for government funding.

The so-called light and charge technology has been developed by BMW and is due to be tried out in Germany next year.

It could also be tested here after being shortlisted for funding as part of a £35m Department for Transport scheme to create “ultra low emission” eco-cities.

Also among the dozen ideas under consideration are smartphone-style charging points with internet access; tax breaks for employees who buy low emission cars through salary sacrifice schemes; electric car pools; and scrappage schemes encouraging drivers to swap their vehicles for low-emission versions.

The transport minister, Andrew Jones, said: “We are determined to maintain international leadership on the uptake of ultra low-emission vehicles.”

 

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“Light and Charge is a simple and innovative solution which aims to seamlessly integrate a smoothly functioning charging station network into the urban landscape,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, speaking at the official inauguration of the first two integrated street light / charging station systems. “The BMW i ChargeNow card already offers access to the world’s largest network of charging stations, and now it gives us great pleasure, in cooperation with our partners, to further expand this network with the help of the Light and Charge project. After all, a seamless charging infrastructure is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future.”

With its modular LED design, the Light and Charge street light is much more energy-efficient than conventional street lighting and provides more effective illumination. It can be installed anywhere and its modular design can to be tailored to different locations. Up to four LED modules can be used to provide night-time lighting on main roads, while one or two modules are sufficient to provide agreeable lighting on side streets and in residential areas. As is already the case with vehicle headlights, LED technology allows more targeted light distribution with less unnecessary and ecologically undesirable “scatter”.

With the development of the Light and Charge system, the BMW Group has signalled its commitment to the deployment of a seamless charging station infrastructure for electric vehicles. The solution it is developing in cooperation with the city of Munich can be grafted straight onto the existing local authority street lighting infrastructure, substantially increasing the number of public charging stations at a stroke. The pilot project will be launched in Munich next year. EV charging stations can be set up at any location where suitable parking is available, simply by replacing conventional street lights with Light and Charge systems.

The EV charging cable connects to a standard connector on the Light and Charge street light. The integrated control panel allows drivers to start charging with a simple press of a button. The electricity used is billed via the BMW i ChargeNow network – a system already familiar to users of the large numbers of public charging stations already participating in this network. Worldwide, the ChargeNow network already offers BMW i customers approximately 18,000 charging stations. In Europe, the concept of provider-independent charging can be further optimised with the help of the Hubject “e-roaming” platform. The Light and Charge systems presented and in use in Munich have been designed from the start for integration into the ChargeNow network and the Hubject platform. That will allow these additional charging stations to be used by as many drivers as possible, regardless of vehicle model and electricity provider.

Source: The Sunday Times/BMW

 

Jaguar Land Rover & BMW to launch technology startups.

Both Jaguar Land Rover and BMW are launching initiatives to encourage automotive technology startups.

The newly founded BMW Startup Garage sets out to tap directly into the potential of particularly innovative startups. With the BMW Startup Garage, the BMW Group is continuing its successful collaboration with startup companies. The combination of the strategic and global planning clout of a large corporation with the culture of ongoing innovation, creativity and venturesomeness that marks out successful startups has already proved a winning recipe. In addition to the BMW Startup Garage, the venture capital company BMW i Ventures also fosters the exchange with young enterprises developing innovative solutions for urban mobility.

The BMW Group has, moreover, joined forces with the Centre for Innovation and Business Creation – UnternehmerTUM – at Munich’s Technical University in order to set up the “TEchFounders” accelerator programme for technology startups. The Accelerator Programme introduces the BMW Group to innovative technologies, products and services at a very early stage, with the option of working together with the startup teams.

The BMW Group has always actively sought new, pathbreaking technologies, but until now it has been difficult for startups to present their ideas to the company – the internal processes and procedures of a major enterprise can be quite daunting to fledgling companies. With its slimmed-down, efficient processes, the BMW Startup Garage now allows for swift and flexible collaborative projects. That way more startups can be identified and integrated more rapidly. Any interested startup companies can apply online to the BMW Startup Garage. The selection is then made directly via the BMW Startup Garage in close consultation with the innovation management team and the relevant departments of the BMW Group.

Selected startups subsequently undergo a special programme lasting several months. At the core of this programme is the development of a functional prototype with an application relevant to the BMW Group. Startups also receive assistance in building up their network within the Group and in drawing up a business plan.

In principle, any startup anywhere in the world can apply. And the scheme is not restricted to companies in the automotive sector, but extends to technologies that can be transferred to automotive engineering applications. However, applicants must meet a number of requirements as well: “We’re looking for good startups and not good inventors,” explains Matthias Meyer. “Anyone thinking of applying needs to bring along not just a great idea but a great team as well. After all, only a top-flight team can make ideas work successfully.”

As Jaguar Land Rover reveals In Control Touch Pro, its next generation infotainment and connected car technology in the all-new Jaguar XF, it has announced a new initiative to support the development of future infotainment technologies in the US.

Jaguar Land Rover will now launch an ‘Innovation Incubator’ project in Portland, Oregon, to encourage, promote and support new software-based automotive technologies that are being developed by US technology start-ups.

The focus will be on finding innovators who have great potential ideas, but need Jaguar Land Rover’s technical help to make these concepts a reality. The Innovation Incubator project begins in May 2015 with an outreach program to US universities. It will select around 120 start-up companies for Jaguar Land Rover to work with over the next decade.

Nick Rogers, Engineering Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As well as pioneering new ideas and developing our own technologies in-house, we want to develop even more collaborative partnerships with the world’s leading technology businesses. We want to cast a wide net and invite technology start-ups to pitch us their ideas, rather like TV’s Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den! If we think they’ve got something innovative that could enhance the experience customers have in our vehicles, we want to support them and help develop their ideas.”

This support includes a space in a new ‘Innovation Incubator’ centre that will be developed in Portland specifically to accommodate these technology start-ups. Jaguar Land Rover will also recruit 50 experienced engineers who will work directly with these start-ups in Portland to help them make their ideas a reality.

“This incubator approach will enable us to seek out and encourage young companies with brilliant ideas for new technologies who may lack the technical skills or knowledge of the automotive industry to move their ideas forward. As well as mentoring them and offering them technical support, they can base themselves with us and develop and test their ideas in our brand new, collaborative and innovative environment in Portland,” said Matt Jones, Head of Future Infotainment, Jaguar Land Rover, who will manage the new facility.

Jaguar Land Rover has already run a pilot for the ‘Innovation Incubator’ programme and identified a project with a US technology start-up called Vonsor.

The innovative Vonsor system is currently under development with Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in Portland. The system will allow drivers to take live footage from cameras inside and outside the vehicle, edit them together on the vehicle’s touchscreens and then share the footage on social media.

“This is completely in tune with the social media generation. People of all ages love to capture their experiences on their smartphones and share them. The Vonsor system allows you to save both your on and off-road driving adventures, with cameras integrated in the vehicle filming anything from wheels articulating over an obstacle, to the whole family having fun inside the car whilst driving along. Vonsor would allow you to collate all of that footage, edit it together and post it all from the vehicle’s touchscreen – so everyone can share the experience,” said Justyn Baker from Vonsor. “We met Jaguar Land Rover at a start-up pitch competition, and it has been great to get their support and insight. It has helped open my eyes to more possibilities than I had ever imagined.”

Sources: BMW, JLR

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EU to bug every car in UK with tracker chips

Every new car sold in Britain will have to have a ‘black box’ device fitted to track drivers’ movements from next year, under plans being imposed by the European Union. 

Despite serious concerns about privacy and cost, UK ministers admit they are powerless to stop the Big Brother technology being forced on motorists and car makers. 

The Government believes the gadget, designed to help emergency services find crashed vehicles, will add at least £100 to the cost of vehicles without providing significant safety improvements.article-2625244-1DBA4E5400000578-71_634x468
Officials also fear the scheme, known as eCall, could be used by police or insurance companies to monitor motorists’ every move.   

 The European Commission has ruled that by October next year, all new cars and vans sold across Europe must be fitted with the technology, which contains a mobile phone-like SIM card designed to transmit the vehicle’s location to emergency services in the event of a crash.

But The Mail on Sunday has seen official correspondence from the Department of Transport showing the UK’s opposition to the policy, which could lead to the ‘constant tracking’ of vehicles. 

In a letter to MPs, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill writes: ‘The basis for our opposition is that costs to the UK outweigh the benefits.

‘Unfortunately, there is very little support for the UK position and no possibility of blocking this legislation. We are working with other member states to minimise the potential burdens on manufacturers and the potential cost to consumers. 

‘With regard to the rules on privacy and data protection, other member states have expressed  similar concerns to us, about the potential for constant tracking of vehicles via the eCall system.’

Emma Carr, of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said last night: ‘Motorists will not be comfortable forcibly having a black box installed which is capable of recording and transmitting their exact location when they are driving.’

Some car manufacturers, including BMW and Volvo, already include eCall devices in their latest models. 

An SOS button near the dashboard, linked to a SIM card, allows drivers to call 999 quickly. And if airbags are deployed it automatically sends a text message to emergency services with the car’s location – as well as its unique vehicle ID number.

Voluntary take-up has been low across the industry so the EU ruled all new car models must include eCall from October 1, 2015. Motorists will be unable to switch it off and it will be tested in MoT checks.

The EU Parliament voted it through last month and a draft of the law is due to be published next week before it is agreed by the EU Commission.  

The UK also hopes the new text will include assurances on the privacy risks of eCall, which were highlighted in a European Parliament legal report earlier this year.

The study said manufacturers will want to include ‘value added services’ for the SOS devices, such as sharing the data with insurers and recovery firms.

A separate study by the EU Data Protection Supervisor warns of the ‘potential intrusiveness’ of eCall given that it operates on the same basis as mobile phones and ‘potentially enables the constant collection of the vehicle’s geolocation’. It urges ‘stricter safeguards’ against ‘unlawful’ use of personal data.

Brussels insists eCall will save 2,500 lives a year by speeding up emergency services response times.

 
Source: Daily Mail

 

BMW and SAP build In-Car Virtual Marketplace

As smartphone and mobile internet use continues to grow, so does the popularity of location-based services. Apps are now available which allow users to retrieve information anytime, anywhere about offers, services and events in their immediate neighbourhood. For car journeys, too, location-based offers and services relevant to a specific route and final destination can provide real benefits. BMW ConnectedDrive already offers numerous location-based information services. However, the added value which location-based services can provide depends very much on the extent to which the information is filtered to take into account the needs and preferences of the individual user. This is the challenge which BMW Group Research and Technology is tackling in the research project “Virtual marketplace of the future”.

“In our vision for a virtual marketplace of the future, the vehicle will provide customers with context-adaptive, preference-based and timely offers and information relevant to their route,” says Dr Jörg Preißinger, Project Manager at BMW Group Research and Technology. As a step towards this vision, in spring 2012 BMW Group Research and Technology entered into a joint project with the international software manufacturer SAP. The goal of this research partnership was to develop solutions for context-adaptive, personalised filtering of large volumes of real-time offers generated by location-based service providers. The joint project developed basic technologies for the sample use cases “parking” and “couponing”.

While SAP developed a cloud-based virtual marketplace solution, BMW Group Research and Technology developed a prototype in-car and BMW backend-based software system for getting information and services from this marketplace to the customer. An application implemented in a BMW 7 Series research vehicle allows drivers to set their own personal preferences for customised filtering of services and offers. At the same time, real-time vehicle data is used to predict drivers’ needs during the course of the journey.

Parking

For example, when the vehicle is approaching the navigation destination a request for parking information is sent to the backend system, which then sends an anonymous query for real-time parking information, including information about availability and fees, to the SAP platform. The BMW-developed system selects the most appropriate parking locations taking into account the user-customised application settings. The in-car app displays these recommendations and allows a location to be selected and adopted as a destination in the navigation system.

The joint research project paves the way for an even greater level of driver comfort and convenience. Results from this project could allow future navigation systems not only to provide information about the quickest route but also to provide recommendations about special coffee deals at filling stations, the best parking deals or even real-time offers at a sports shop along the route – but only if the driver wants.

Source: BMW

Cloudy with a strong chance of great tunes: new MINI Connected-ready app brings the Amazon Cloud Music Player into the MINI

 
   

 The latest music app to launch on MINI Connected offers Amazon customers a convenient way of accessing their audio files on the online store’s Cloud server, using their smartphone in conjunction with the MINI hub. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store and installed in the vehicle via the customer’s Apple iPhone.

As with other MINI Connected compatible apps the connection works using an iPhone, is operated in the usual safe, convenient and intuitive way using the MINI joystick, the steering wheel buttons and the high-resolution colour display of the in-car monitor. To use this or other MINI Connected apps and services the car must be fitted with the MINI Visual Boost radio or the MINI navigation system in conjunction with the MINI Connected option.

The Amazon Cloud Music Player can play audio files stored on the smartphone as well as those saved in the data cloud. The collection can be searched using criteria such as music genre, album or artist. Other functions include the ability to repeat individual or multiple titles, to play songs in a random order, and to compile favourites lists. Current song information – artist, title and album – is displayed on the in-car monitor.

To access a personal music collection in the Cloud, an Amazon customer ID and password is required, once this is entered, all audio files stored there will be available for online streaming. The online store offers its music customers a choice of around 26 million songs, which can be downloaded and simultaneously saved in the Cloud. Any music that the customer has purchased from Amazon in the form of a CD or vinyl LP can also be saved digitally in the Cloud and accessed from the MINI via the app.

The Amazon Cloud Music Player is just the latest in a long line of music entertainment apps and online services to launch on MINI Connected, with more to come. Others include AUPEO! Stitcher, Deezer, Audible, Napster/Rhapsody and TuneIn, as well as web-radio services and RSS news feeds. MINI is the only car brand in its segment offering customers such a wide variety of apps and services.

Source: BMW

Peiker technology team up with Deutsche Telekom to supply in car Wi-Fi for Sixt

Peiker LTE Car Hotspot and Deutsche Telekom bring Wi-Fi into Sixt hire cars.

 

Cars long ago made the transition to being rolling communication platforms, and in-vehicle Internet access is now a must for most drivers. To ensure that drivers will not have to go without this convenience in rental cars from SIXT as well in the future, premium automotive manufacturer BMW has teamed up with Deutsche Telekom to implement the BMW ConnectedDrive Hotspot, using the award-winning LTE Car Hotspot from peiker acustic GmbH & Co. KG to do so.

This July marked the start of a pilot project to enable mobile Internet access in rental cars as well as personal vehicles, with a built-in hotspot: The BMW ConnectedDrive Hotspot is available for booking as a free additional option exclusively at Sixt until July 2014. To achieve this, the communications specialists at peiker will be equipping about 3,300 BMW vehicle models from car rental company Sixt with the company’s LTE Car Hotspot by 2014. These hotspots are connected with the Deutsche Telekom network, so they can perform the functions of a commercial Deutsche Telekom hotspot in the rental car.

One major advantage of this solution is that it is simple to integrate into the vehicle: The user does not need to worry about having an individual data contract or a new SIM card. Everything is ready to go – all the driver needs to do is get in and start surfing. Multiple end devices can be used at the same time.

The LTE-capable Car Hotspot, developed for BMW, enables even faster data communication for all Internet-based applications while driving. The innovative LTE Car Hotspot already brought the automotive supplier, which is based in the German state of Hesse, a BMW Supplier Innovation Award in the ConnectedDrive category this year. The owner-operated mid-sized company was able to win out over 15 other nominees in this category.

“We are pleased to partner with our longstanding customer BMW and with two celebrated companies, Deutsche Telekom and Sixt, to bring the fourth generation of mobile Internet into vehicles,” says Reinhard Kromer-von Baerle, Managing Director of peiker.

The service is only available in Germany

Source: Peiker Technology/Tim Cosgrove

New BMW ConnectedDrive Campaign

 

BMW is launching a new BMW ConnectedDrive campaign with the tagline “So connected, you’re free”. The campaign will run in print, online and TV channels worldwide.

The global communication campaign showcases BMW as one of the world’s leading providers of web-based in-car services and highlights the brand’s innovative power. The campaign demonstrates how easy it is to use ConnectedDrive’s innovative, customer-oriented services and features, and explains the added benefits of BMW ConnectedDrive functions – convenience, safety, entertainment and flexibility.

Steven Althaus, head of Brand Management BMW and Marketing Services BMW Group: “The new campaign places even greater emphasis on our customers. The customer discovers the benefits of many BMW ConnectedDrive services and learns how they work in entertaining short episodes designed to make in-car networking more tangible and easier to understand.”

 

Visual language

 

The print campaign comprises around 40 visuals, each depicting one of the functions of BMW ConnectedDrive – such as Real Time Traffic Information, Remote Services, Intelligent Emergency Call or BMW Head-Up Display. The ads and posters focus on the features’ added benefits for customers, with a visual language that is uncomplicated and emotionally powerful. All communication channels use their own specially-developed visual mechanics: Each motif is split to resemble the display in a car – the left half of the image shows the respective function, while the right features a motif with a corresponding story. A distinctive headline underscores the benefits of the function. 

 

Shorts/TVC

 

New short films also present the benefits of key BMW ConnectedDrive Services & Apps in a humorous and unconventional manner. The Concierge Services, Online Entertainment and Remote Services, for example, are incorporated into short stories with a surprise ending. The spots can be viewed on BMW TV and YouTube, or on the new BMW ConnectedDrive website under “Video gallery”.

 

In addition to an image film, four 30-second TV spots have also been created to highlight the campaign’s key message “So connected, you’re free” in emotionally-powerful images. The TVC spots also showcase BMW ConnectedDrive Services in short episodes with a focus on connectivity-based services, such as Real Time Traffic Information, Internet with Google Voice Search, Online Entertainment and Concierge Services.

 

Almost 20 short animated films have also been produced to explain individual services and functions to customers in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. These “functional films” can be found on the website and will also be shown at points of sale in BMW showrooms.

 

 

New website

 

The redesigned BMW ConnectedDrive website at www.bmw.com/connecteddrive will also go live for the campaign launch. The new web presence is clearly set out and reflects the revised structure of BMW ConnectedDrive, based on the two pillars: BMW ConnectedDrive Services & Apps and BMW ConnectedDrive Driver Assistance. BMW i ConnectedDrive Services are grouped under a separate navigation item. A video gallery and a link to the new “My BMW ConnectedDrive” customer portal round out the website’s user-friendly navigation.

Source: BMW