BMW has unveiled its new Connected app at Microsoft Build, developed using the software firm’s Azure cloud platform. The new BMW Connected app aims to be a driver’s “personal mobility companion”.
Initially available for North American BMW drivers with an iPhone as a free download, the new app aims to bring the same levels of personalisation and simplicity to transportation that most consumers experience in other areas of their digital life.
The app provides users with a host of remote vehicle-related functions. These include being able to check on a car’s location and fuel levels or to turn on the air conditioning, unlock the doors and check the state of battery charge in hybrid models.
The app is also able to find and reserve a parking space, find a fuel station, charging point or an authorised mechanic.
BMW’s Connected app is a ‘smart’ app, capable of learning, be it a driver’s preferences regarding vehicle set-up, or favourite destinations and other mobility needs.
It can also offer predictive navigation based on a user’s calendar, frequently travelled routes and live traffic flow data.
This means that the Connected app can alert the user when it’s time to leave in order to reach a destination at a certain time, based on congestion. It will also calculate the ‘last mile’ portion of a journey — i.e., the route on foot once the car is parked. It will even give friends and family updates regarding estimated time of arrival to remove the need for making calls or sending messages while on the road.
Another feature of the app is its ability to support or host the best functions of a user’s favourite third-party navigation or driving apps so that everything is in one digital place — either on a smartphone or smartwatch and then seamlessly transferred to the car’s infotainment screen when it’s time to go.