BMW to Deliver Hardware, Software Features Via Digital Subscription

The luxury automaker is now offering services such as connected parking and a digital key in its packages.

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Need to Know 

  • BMW has announced new updates to its in-car experience, including a digital subscription service and upgraded in-car personal assistant.
  • Customers can now experience a free trial of certain features before committing to a subscription.
  • Some of the possible upgrades included a digital key, connected parking, and even heated seats.
  • BMW is dedicated to integrating advanced digital technologies into its vehicles to enhance the customer driving experience.

Analysis

BMW announced this week new updates to in-car software experience, which includes a new digital subscription service. 

In a virtual event, the luxury automaker unveiled new updates to the company’s Operating System 7, which would support any of the recently-made and brand-new BMW vehicles. 

BMW can now assign specific coding to its cars’ “infotainment” system, as well as the hardware features that make up a modern vehicle. Interestingly, the new program allows customers to “subscribe” to certain features like heated seats that may be built into the car but not yet activated. Much like music or video streaming subscriptions, customers can experience a free three-month trial period before deciding if they’d like to subscribe to certain features. 

Some of the possible upgrades available include Digital Key (using your iPhone as a car key), eDrive Zones (which automatically switch to all-electric driving in certain areas), and Connecting Parking (includes parking in your route planning and can even forecast what the parking situation may be like at your destination). 

The new features also include a BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant which can assist the driver with new voice control functions such as rolling the window down or activating a different driving mode. 

BMW’s list of digital subscription features.

“We offer maximum flexibility and peace of mind to our customers when it comes to choosing and using their optional equipment in their BMWs, whether this BMW is new or used,” a company spokesperson said at the press event. “So flexible offers, immediate availability, simpler booking and easy usability for choice, at any time, when it comes to your optional equipment.”

The BMW updates were developed with the use of customer data. Using BMW CarData, customers can opt-in to decide for themselves for when and for which service they would want to share data. Customers can access a CarData report at any time, “which shows Condition data (such as mileage); usage-based data (such as average fuel consumption); and event data (such as an automated service call).”

“Digital technologies belong to the core of BMW – because hardware and software are of equal importance for premium cars,” said Oliver Zipse, the chairman for BMW. “Our mission is to integrate advanced digital technologies with highest product excellence to enhance our customers’ experience and driving pleasure even more.”

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