There's a new "digital companion" for Mini owners in the US.
The horsepower wars are over, and we're now into the era of connected tech features. Mini is stepping up its game by rolling out its new app in the US that brings "customers a new level of connectivity and digital services for their vehicles," and follows the introduction of its new and improved touchscreen system. According to Mini, the app expands the integration of features and adds new ones such as Amazon Alexa integration, remote access to the vehicle, and new navigation features that include the ability to push destinations found in the app directly to the vehicle's navigation system. Just as importantly, owners can now send destinations from third-party apps.
The new app will become the new universal interface to Mini vehicles, displaying status information and remote services, including locking and unlocking. There's also a Vehicle Finder button to locate the car should it be needed. The Alexa integration is the largest expansion of connectivity, allowing voice control of compatible smart home devices, as well as playing music, checking messages, and other Alexa functions. The app also watches the car for service intervals and requirements and makes it easy to schedule service appointments. Mini Roadside Assistance is also accessible through the app and can be used, with permission, to identify its location and status for over-the-air assistance if needed.
The app also features services specifically for EVs, namely the Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid and the all-electric Mini Cooper SE. Owners can control the charging process, optimize it for their schedule using the Charge and Climate Timer Function, and pre-condition the climate controls ready to use the car.
If much of this sounds familiar, that's because the system is based on the scalable and universal software architecture developed and being rolled out by BMW. The new app's global roll-out began last July, and BMW says that by mid-2021, it will have launched in more than 40 countries with 23 languages around the world.