Over 750,000 vehicles globally will receive the brand's latest operating system, and Android Auto.
Apple recently unveiled iOS 14, its new mobile operating system, followed by the iPhone 12. Both events were hotly anticipated by users, technophiles, and developers alike. This same sense of anticipation for new features that can be unlocked from the comfort of your own home via over-the-air updates has infiltrated the automotive world.
A case in point is BMW which has announced its biggest remote software upgrade in the company's history with BMW Operating System 7. Over 750,000 vehicles are set to benefit worldwide with some all-new features, along with some updates that have been long-awaited, many of which have already been seen in the latest 2021 BMW 5 Series. The update is certainly comprehensive and includes the long-awaited arrival of Android Auto in BMWs, a feature that many competitors have had for years and which BMW promised was coming close to a year ago.
Beyond this functionality, the new operating system will feature BMW Maps for an enhanced navigation experience, Connected Parking, eDrive Zones for plug-in hybrid models, connected charging, a smart opener function for the tailgate, a smarter Intelligent Personal Assistant, and added functionality for Apple CarPlay when using navigation.
eDrive Zones aren't yet available everywhere, although it exists in over 90 cities in Europe, and helps owners of BMW PHEVs drive in a more efficient manner. Using geofencing, the vehicle can switch to pure electric mode in specified green zones.
With Connected Parking, customers can be conveniently guided to available parking spots based on, for example, available fleet data. This feature even takes into account the size of the vehicle when locating a parking space, so your gargantuan X7 SUV may be ruled out for spaces that could comfortably accommodate a 2 Series.
The new personal assistant can distinguish between the voice of a driver or passenger, accepts new voice commands (such as for switching between driving modes), and is said to appear to be more "emotional". There's also connected charging which indicates public charging spots and information about these locations, such as opening hours or nearby restaurants.
Finally, BMW Maps improves in-vehicle navigation by more quickly calculating routes, along with autocompletion, which makes inputting destinations more intuitive.
BMW says that once installation files are prepared in the background, the actual installation process should be complete within 20 minutes. Customers in Germany will be the first to have access to the new software on October 19, with other markets including the US to follow thereafter.
Almost the entire BMW fleet can access the upgrade, while BMWs produced from July 2020 already have the latest operating system installed.