BMW Connective Technology


Nobody can stop progress. In our fast-paced, constantly evolving world, progress means technology. Everyone from cellphone providers to automakers are in a perpetual race to get a leg up in this cutting-edge competition, and BMW is no exception. The name of the game is efficiency: the ability to more efficiently execute everyday tasks, and BMW's ConnectedDrive is the first system on the market to effectively turn your vehicle into your personal assistant. Their goal with creating the ConnectDrive was to create convenience without creating complications, and they have more than succeeded with this evolutionary system.


BMW's ConnectedDrive is essentially the internet and smartphone side to their iDrive system. The other components include a rotary dial in the center console of the vehicle, connected to a 7-inch screen embedded in the dash. There is an integrated cradle that will hold most smartphones and lends to the streamlined design of the system. Connecting to the system either by a hardline plugged into the USB port or via Bluetooth is seamless and efficient.

Once the schematics have been figured out: the rotary dial takes a little getting used to for those who aren't seasoned BMW veterans, the fun can begin. Some of the more impressive features of the system include constantly updated real-time traffic information, direct music-streaming, a call center-based concierge service and eCall, which automatically informs emergency services in the event of a collision. The ConnectedDrive also syncs up with your contacts, calendar and e-mail addresses, allowing you to receive updates and vocally send replies while you are on the road.

The majority of the services being offered by the ConnectedDrive operate through a 3G SIM card embedded within the vehicle. The navigation system with traffic monitoring, for example uses the SIM to transmit GPS and speed information to a cloud-based server, and in return receives real-time traffic information (RTTI) based on the same data transmitted from other similar systems and cellphones in other cars on the road. This allows you to enter a destination into your Navigation system and receive the least congested route for your journey.

Info Plus, the ConnectedDrive's 24/7 concierge service also uses the embedded SIM to connect you to a connective guru at a call center, who can help you with information regarding restaurants, airline flights, films playing at local movie theatres and even finding a hotel and booking a room for the night on your behalf. Any suggestions with accompanying locations can also be sent directly to your vehicle's navigation system.


The ConnectedDrive's multimedia system includes an Online Entertainment option that streams music directly through your vehicle. This unique set-up gives ConnectedDrive users the first ever unlimited on-demand music streaming car service, allowing you to search by artist, song or album, or simply choose one of many pre-set playlists. The system caches three tracks at a time, meaning no buffering in between songs.

The system's Office option is all you need in order to turn your daily driver into your own personal assistant. The ConnectedDrive is capable of uploading your calendar and contacts, all of which the system can access at the sound of a voice command. You can vocally dictate e-mails to your steering wheel while you drive, have them read back to you for final approval and then sent out without having to touch a keyboard. Updates on social media feeds, weather networks and pre-selected news sources can also be read aloud to you on your way to the office.

As car ownership is on the cusp of being completely revolutionized in numerous areas, the BMW ConnectedDrive is at the testing phase of an innovative Chauffeur system that would take over partial or complete control of the braking, steering and accelerating functions of your vehicle. The future is now, and BMW is on the fast track to bringing it to our doorstep.

The BMW ConnectedDrive in Edmonton is a perfectly well-rounded and accessible system. Once you have yourself registered on the ConnectedDrive portal, you are even capable of downloading upgrades for the system without setting foot into a dealership. Remote services and smartphone apps allow you to remotely operate some of your vehicle's functions from your phone, such as flashing the headlights, locking or unlocking the doors, and pre-heating the vehicle. A driver's profile individual to yourself can be set, including your preferred seat position, car temperature and the information displayed in the head-up display. Not only does this facilitate the use of your vehicle - the profile can be exported to every BMW that you own as well as any BMW rental that you may need while away on business.

With new gadgets being introduced on a daily basis, consumers are constantly being pressured to have the latest and the greatest on the market, so we can only imagine the rivalry that must exist between the companies providing us with the goods. BMW released the ConnectedDrive in 2001 and it has been in a state of constant development since, continuously finding new consumer challenges to resolve. Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Mazda and Infiniti have since brought their own versions to the table - providing even more reason for Bimmer to keep stepping up its game. For that reason alone we can be assured that as technology evolves and improves, BMW will always be on the cutting edge, providing systems that not only facilitate our day to day lives, but convenient systems that all drivers will be able to comfortably use. Available in most of their vehicles, including BMW's luxurious BMW 7-series and BMW 5-series models, the ConnectedDrive is one of those systems, one that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

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