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Advanced Telematics for 30,000 BMWs in 2008

Fri, 01 Feb 2008
BMW ConnectedDrive will add safety and convenience to 30,000 BMW cars in 2008.

(Straight BMW Press release: BMW's language.)

ConnectedDrive, BMW’s ground-breaking safety and assistance telematics service, is expected to be supplied on 30,000 new BMW cars in the UK in 2008, bringing added peace-of-mind and convenience to drivers. ConnectedDrive offers drivers a dedicated website and a unique combination of facilities, emergency and breakdown assistance as well as driver convenience services, with new features such as Google Send-to-Car and RSS internet information feeds directly into the car.

The Google Send-to-Car feature marks a partnership with Google, the world’s most frequented internet portal, and offers BMW drivers an innovative new proposition. The time-consuming destination selection process of navigation systems has been virtually eliminated. The driver can now select one or more destinations through Google maps from the comfort of their work or home office. These are then sent directly from their PC to the car through the ConnectedDrive web portal. Once in the car, the driver simply accepts the destination, saving time and ensuring that their full focus is on driving.

Another new feature is the use of RSS news feeds into a car (except Z4 and X3 models). This new innovation gives the owner of a ConnectedDrive-equipped car the opportunity of ‘clicking and dragging’ RSS feeds from the internet into the ConnectedDrive web portal. In the car, those RSS internet news and information feeds are then displayed in the iDrive screen when the car is stationary.

In addition, the driver has access, through a manned call centre (not a computerised database), to a vast listing of UK locations such as cinemas, restaurants and sports facilities. One call to the Information Plus operator finds the desired destination which, like the Google system, is then sent to the car and accepted as a destination.

Alongside these notable driver aids, the safety benefits of the existing eCall emergency connection to the 999 emergency services and bCall link to the BMW breakdown service remain. The BMW breakdown service confirms that January is their busiest month for roadside assistance and in the event of an accident, the driver only has to press the SOS button from the on-board monitor or in the roof lining to gain instant access to the Police, Ambulance or Fire services through the 999 emergency services.

If the driver is involved in a severe incident and the airbag is deployed, the eCall element of BMW ConnectedDrive takes over and automatically instigates contact with the 999 emergency services. If the driver is incapacitated and thus the operator receives no feedback, the car has already sent the navigation co-ordinates of the location using the embedded SIM card to the emergency services call centre for help to be dispatched. Equally, if the BMW driver witnesses a serious accident, he can inform the 999 emergency services through the eCall system, potentially saving other road users’ lives.

And there are already many instances of where ConnectedDrive has literally saved lives. One situation occurred when a BMW X5 was involved in an accident that rendered the driver unconscious. As the airbag deployed, the car instantly contacted the 999 emergency services who were dispatched to the location of the incident, arriving before the driver had regained consciousness. The car was written off as a result of this accident, but the driver potentially saved from serious injury.

ConnectedDrive is supplied as standard on all new BMW cars equipped with Navigation and Bluetooth mobile telephone connectivity for three years, with BMW expecting 30,000 cars to be specified with the options in 2008.

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