BMW launches huge software update for its cars: Here’s what it includes

BMW launches huge software update for its cars: Here’s what it includes

New services include being able to unlock your car using your phone as well as being able to add optional extras remotely throughout ownership

BMWs are already some of the most advanced models on sale – whether that be with clever safety tech or the latest powertrains. 

Features include having an ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ and a key that allows the car to park autonomously remotely. It’s clear that BMW is already a leader in technological innovation.

But from this month, its models are set to get even more advanced thanks to a new software update available on its latest cars. Available on cars fitted with the ‘Operating System 7’ from this month – including the new 1 Series, 3 Series, revised 5 Series and X5 SUV to name but a few – it means you’ll be able to upgrade your car after you’ve bought it – adding optional extras whenever you feel like it. 

Here we take a look at what it includes…

The ability to unlock your car using your iPhone

Announced recently by Apple, BMWs are becoming the first cars that can be unlocked using your iPhone. Known by the firm as a ‘Digital Key’, near-field communication (NFC) allows your phone to connect to the car – in a similar way to how contactless debit cards work. 

This allows you to unlock and even start a new BMW with your iPhone or iWatch, while you’re able to share details with friends and family members to let them easily get behind the wheel with nothing but their Apple device, too. 

On-demand optional extras

We’re all pretty accustomed to on-demand these days, and buying things on an ‘as and when we need it’ basis, so why doesn’t that extend to the car world, too?

Well, some BMWs have this already – allowing you to upgrade to adaptive cruise control and revised suspension setups as an optional extra even after you’ve bought the car. But BMW is set to roll this out further – extending it to comfort features like heated seats and to further driver assistance. You’ll also be able to trial optional extras for a month or so before committing to buy them as well. 

It also means that when it comes to selling your BMW, the second owner can add options back onto it if they so wish, too. 

New cloud-based navigation services

As cars come more connected, many feature online services, and BMW has launched a new cloud-based maps system as part of this update. 

It enables real-time travel data, and can let you know the opening times at your destination. BMW Maps also aims to avoid any hold-ups and taking you on unnecessary detours, too – unlike many other navigation services. 

Enhanced features for plug-in and electric models

Various new features aim to help drivers of electrified BMWs, and the first is a rewards programme that rewards drivers of plug-ins and EVs for completing journeys on electricity. 

It has also expanded its connected charging services – allowing you to see how a charge is progressing through the BMW app, as well as see the availability and opening hours of a particular charger. This aims to ensure that you’re able to use it when you get there, rather than arriving to find someone already charging, or worse still, that the car park where the charger may be is closed. 

Introduction of Android Auto

While BMW has always been a pioneer when it comes to Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, but until now Android users have been left out. 

However, BMW is now rolling out Android Auto on its latest models, which will work wirelessly too to increase convenience. 

Updates to BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant

BMW’s ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ is one of the best voice control systems on the market – working in a similar way to Alexa, and able to understand everyday conversations to host a variety of functions. Highlights include it being able to explain a car’s features to you, write and send texts for you and control the satellite navigation. 

It’s been around for nearly a couple of years now, and this software update sees changes being made to increase the number of commands it can operate, and also offer help and advice along your journey.

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