BMW vehicles getting pre-loaded telematics down under

The Australian division of BMW is set to see a big boost in its data collection shortly, as with an expansion of its ConnectedDrive services, all new BMW’s in the country will be fitted with telematics systems going forward.

These will be pushed alongside driver aids like parking assistance, heads-up displays and night vision, with stat tracking systems. It will come as a range of services and apps, with all those buying the new vehicles offered subscription plans for the connected cars. The real ConnectedDrive services won’t begin operation until 2015, but certain apps will be made available before then to allow new owners to take advantage of the advanced features.

“BMW ConnectedDrive provides the most comprehensive and innovative means of connectivity between the occupants, a vehicle and the outside world,” says Toni Andreevski, general manager of marketing at BMW Australia (via Motoring).

“Whether it is connectivity to the vehicle through the driver assist features and the remote apps, or to the outside world via the online services, just about every conceivable need has been considered.”
Some of the apps that are set to be made available to customers shortly, include BMW Teleservices, BMW Breakdown Call, TeleService Battery Guard, Intelligent Emergency Call and other Google and BMW specific apps and services like weather, traffic, online search and more. While BMV Breakdown call might be self explanatory, TeleService battery guard will get in touch with you if your car’s battery is getting low due to inactivity or a technical fault – as losing battery life could disable security features – and the Teleservices from BMW will help you out over the phone if you ever have a problem with your car.
It’ll also update you when the car needs a service, which is handy, but nobody likes being told by a company that you need to spend some more money with them.
Perhaps one of the best features of the lot though, is the Ingelligent Emergency Call service, which remotely monitors your cars diagnostics and in the event of an accident, the car’s condition can be surveyed and the appropriate response made. Sometimes that will be to just give you (the driver) a call to make sure you’re alright, other times it might mean dispatching emergency services or a tow truck.
However a caveat was added to the release, which said that should new drivers not want to take advantage of the new telematics features, they’ll be able to turn them off them by simply disabling the supplied sim card which gives the vehicle its connectivity.
Whether you want the telematics features or not though, the Connected Apps will bundled in a variety of features like Facebook, Twitter, web radio, news, Stitcher, Pandora, Last, Mile, EcoPro and tonnes of other apps and services. They’re designed to give you full smartphone functionality in your car, with an interface that’s a lot safer to use. You’ll need to leave the sim in to use them though, since they require the 3G data network.
Pricing for these BMW upgrades is as follows:
ConnectedDrive Lifestyle: Comes with ConnectedDrive Services and Remote Services – $690 (£380)
ConnectedDrive Freedom: Comes with ConnectedDrive Services, Remote Services, Real Time Traffic Information and Concierge Services – $1200 (£660)
To add extra services, you’ll need to spend at least a couple of hundred dollars, with Real Time Traffic cosing $250 and extra apps costing $200. These will need to be paid for annually, whereas the above telematics are for the lifetime of your purchase.



    Jon Martindale

    Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.

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