Think you accidentally left the stove on? Ask your BMW.
SIM cards. You may know them as the small chips that enable your carrier to know which phone is yours. Thing is, in the UK, SIM cards are becoming standard features on cars. The goal isn't exactly to turn your car into a smartphone. No, the idea is to make it part of "the Internet of things." In the UK there are already 500,000 BMWs on the road that live in the world of tomorrow today. But the automaker hopes that all of its car will be online.
Right now the system allows for the car to connect to a smartphone and use some of its functions. But BMW wants to expand upon this. If all goes to plan, you may soon be able to use your Bimmer to adjust the thermostat at home, remotely check your fridge to see if you need to stop for milk, and find out if you left the stove on. If owners adjust settings and allow their cars to creep on them, then soon a 5 Series may be able to learn its owner's travel habits and alert them of traffic incidents accordingly. Then, while having breakfast, the 5 Series could communicate with the owner via a text message that they need to leave earlier to accommodate for road conditions.
Not only does the system serve to turn the automobile into a more useful appliance that makes life easier, but it helps BMW as a brand since owners will spend more time engaged with the connected system. After all, who are you going to thank when a white and blue roundel pops up on your phone telling you to buy more beer when you leave the office?