Which BMW Models Capable Of Over The Air Updates

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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Updating or improving your BMW just became as easy as upgrading your smartphone operating system or buying a new app.

  • BMW X5, new 3 Series and new 8 Series running Operating System 7.0 can now be updated over the air with Remote Software Upgrade.
  • Owners will find both the Intelligent Personal Assistant as well as driver assist systems continually updated and improved through wireless updates.
  • In the future, owners will be able to add new vehicle-specific content and features to their vehicle through BMW ConnectedDrive Store.
  • The move is similar to an announcement GM made in mid-May; it’s new vehicles running its Digital Vehicle Platform offer over-the-air updates and upgrades.

Buying a new car can be nerve wracking. Sometimes you don’t know exactly what you want. Other times, you have to forego a specific feature or package for budgetary or packaging reasons. At one point, you could just go back to the dealer and pay them to add whatever upgrade you’d previously forgone — air conditioning or power seats, for example.

Now, however, new vehicles are digitally complex. So, it’s not always possible to add features later. Sometimes, you’re just stuck with buyer’s remorse. Well, if you have a new BMW running the brand’s Operating System 7.0 software, you may never suffer from regret again – at least not over features.

This week, BMW revealed that all of its models in its ConnectedDrive markets running BMW Operating System 7.0 are capable of receiving over-the-air updates in a feature Bimmer is calling Remote Software Upgrade. Admittedly, its name is not the snazziest marketing effort. Still, it’s pretty cool.

The affected models currently include the new BMW X5, new 3 Series and new 8 Series. However, as the model line is updated and refreshed, they, too, will receive Operating System 7.0.

More than just continually update the functionality of BMW’s new Intelligent Personal Assistant, an intelligent voice interaction platform co-developed with Microsoft, the new Remote Software Upgrade also improves function extensions of driver assist systems, like Adaptive Cruise Control, side collision protection, etc.

BMW Operating System 7.0 Remote Software Upgrade
Someday, owners will be add content and features to their vehicle through BMW ConnectedDrive Store. | Photo: BMW

 

Someday, this will allow customers to remotely upgrade their car beyond what they selected at the dealership. From either their smartphone running the BMW app or from inside the vehicle itself, buyers will be able to, as BMW puts it, “source additional vehicle functions from the BMW ConnectedDrive Store and activate them easily in their BMW.”

Of course, what BMW doesn’t broadcast is that these additional functions you’ll be able to easily source from the online store will be expensive. If Bimmer charges $500 for Apple CarPlay now, I can only imagine the kinds of price tags it will assign to driver assistant safety features.

Last week, General Motors announced a somewhat similar move. Its new Digital Vehicle Platform, which will enable future vehicles running the digital platform to receive over-the-air updates. Plus, like BMW, it will allow owners to add content and features throughout their ownership of the vehicle.

This isn’t exactly a new concept; Tesla has famously offered a similar setup in its vehicles for years. It just took traditional automakers this long to catch up to the small and nimble pure-electric brand.


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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