1.3 million vehicles will get the remote update.
BMW has just launched the new iX SUV and the i4 sedan, both of which are electric vehicles that aim to make near-silent motoring as exciting as possible. Along with their all-electric powertrains, both vehicles also offer BMW's brand-new iDrive 8 infotainment system, but that doesn't mean that the preceding iDrive 7 system is being made completely obsolete. BMW has just announced a host of remote updates being carried out for the system, improving usability and features for 1.3 million vehicles across the world. Among these updates is the addition of Amazon Alexa for US customers, along with a host of other improvements.
The new update is called Version 21-03 and begins with a rollout in Germany from this month, with other markets gradually getting updated too. Before this update, Alexa was available for iDrive 7 vehicles in Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Spain, and Italy. Now, France, the USA, Canada, and Brazil gain access. Other improvements to the system include auto-completion for the new-for-2021 cloud-based BMW Maps navigation system, along with the reinstatement of an older search function that customers asked for, where you can search for a destination by entering country, place, street, and house number. Furthermore, the BMW cloud contains additional context-related information on over 120 million points of interest, including operating hours and images.
Another welcome update is the ability to deactivate the lane departure warning system permanently. Typically, you start a car and deactivate the system, but when you switch the car off and get back in it later, the system is automatically reactivated. With this new update, the lane departure warning system is not reactivated until the user goes into the menu and switches it back on. The iDrive update also fixes an error where Android devices would not transfer cover art to the display, as well as one where the surround-view display was not correctly positioned.
The updates all improve convenience and will be applied to more than 20 models. Cars produced since March of this year, like the new M4 Convertible, already have the latest software version, but if yours was made before then, BMW says to be patient as the global pandemic has caused some delays.