BMW ConnectedDrive Review

What is BMW ConnectedDrive?

Car tenure is on a fork of being revolutionised in a subsequent few years, as cars turn connected, regulating embedded SIMs to promulgate with cloud-based-servers.

The initial automobile association to do this on any scale is BMW, that has been embedding 3G SIM cards (with total information roaming in 6 European countries, granted by Vodafone) in a telematics complement of all new cars built given Apr of this year.

The embedded SIMs have enabled BMW to offer a ConnectedDrive complement – a apartment of services, including constantly updated trade information, concierge services and a far-reaching operation of onboard apps – to roughly all a cars in a range, if business wish to choice it on their new car.

BMW ConnectedDrive

BMW ConnectedDrive: Set up

After holding smoothness of your new BMW, we have to initial register on a ConnectedDrive portal (https://www.bmw-connecteddrive.co.uk). Once logged in, your personal dashboard facilities sum of your automobile (or cars, if we possess some-more than one BMW) and dual menu headings – My Services and Settings.

My Services has a series of sub-menus that allows a owners to capacitate entrance to information from opposite sources. So, for example, we can devise trips in BMW Routes, select adult to 20 news sources to be sent to a car, import your contacts and settle an particular motorist form that can mention your elite chair position, automobile heat and a information shown in a head-up display. This form can be saved and exported to a owner’s car(s): even better, if a BMW owners is divided from home and hires a BMW as a let car, they can also trade these settings to that vehicle.

BMW ConnectedDrive

The Settings menu has a common functions (changing username and password), joining an email account, confidence settings and a activation of Remote Services and a smartphone app accessible from a Apple App Store and Google Play Store that allows we to work some of a car’s functions from a phone (flashing headlights, locking or unlocking a doors remotely and pre-heating a car).

BMW ConnectedDrive: Performance

The in-car interface of a ConnectedDrive-enabled automobile is BMW’s iDrive system, formed around a rotary controller in a centre console (it is also surrounded by by-pass buttons and incorporates voice control and a touchpad on a tip of a controller that allows we to submit information by ‘writing’ it with your finger). Information is displayed on a colour LCD arrangement in a dashboard.

The categorical menu has 8 sub-menus (Multimedia, Radio, Telephone, Navigation, Office, ConnectedDrive, Vehicle Information and Settings), that can be accessed by toggling a iDrive controller or, in some cases, regulating a by-pass buttons. Using a iDrive controller essentially requires a small thought, that is not ideal when driving, yet we get used to it within a integrate of hours (so it’s best finished sitting in a automobile when it’s stationery).

BMW ConnectedDrive

The ConnectedDrive menu contains submenus, including information about servicing, any messages that we will have sent to a car, smartphone apps, web radio and BMW Online, that facilities news, weather, email and personalised apps. These onboard apps will turn increasingly important, not usually within ConnectedDrive, yet also to connected automobile services propitious to other brands’ vehicles. BMW has a ConnectedDrive Store – in effect, a possess App Store – that owners can open an comment with and, in a subsequent 12 months, download apps from during any time during their tenure of a car.

Also in a ConnectedDrive menu is Info Plus, a 24/7 concierge use that connects we by phone to a ‘personal assistant’ during a dedicated call centre. They can assistance we with a far-reaching operation of information, including anticipating a grill internal to where we are during a time, times of airline flights or films during a cinema, or even find a hotel and book a room for you. Any location-based suggestions can also be sent directly to your car’s navigation system.

The Office choice is quite useful for work-related activities, such as accessing your calendar, and promulgation emails, that we can dictate, have review back, approve and send. The one vital obstacle with this duty during a impulse is that it now doesn’t work with Apple iOS, so if we essentially use a likes of iCal and Mail as your primary capability apps, ConnectedDrive doesn’t support them. Updates on amicable media feeds can also be review out by a car.

BMW ConnectedDrive

Navigation is a core use of ConnectedDrive, generally as a car’s embedded SIM enables a automobile to broadcast GPS and speed information to a cloud server and, in return, accept real-time trade information (RTTI) formed on a same information from phones in other cars on a road. This means that we can enter a end and a automobile will automatically use a slightest undiluted roads en route. We used it on a series of occasions during a time with a automobile and found it rarely effective.

Multimedia includes an Online Entertainment choice that now offers a song streaming use from rara that gives ConnectedDrive users a initial total on-demand use in a car, with entrance to over 28 million tracks. You can hunt for artists, albums or songs, or select curated playlists. The complement caches 3 marks during a time (and afterwards automatically saves them to a car’s tough drive), so there’s no buffering. The complement also syncs with rara mobile apps and domestic systems such as Sonos, so we can emanate new playlists during home, that are afterwards also saved in a car. The usually obstacle we could find is that a use is usually as good as a 3G reception, something a incomparable cache would assistance alleviate.

BMW ConnectedDrive


Car owners will shortly turn some-more wakeful of connected capability and see their vehicles as another mobile device. ConnectedDrive’s array of deliberate and unsentimental services demonstrates that drivers will shortly be means to make a many of their time in a automobile – quite useful if you’re a high-mileage commuter or business driver.

The large doubt during this theatre of a game, though, is price. The cost of a opposite media packages that enclose ConnectedDrive services vary, according to a indication we purchase, yet a full package is an £1,890 option. It will boost a resale value of your car, yet we won’t get a full volume back. However, a RTTI use is invaluable, minimising a time you’re stranded in trade jams; a connectivity services will also save we profitable time; and a operation of onboard apps designed privately for in-car use should offer something for everyone.

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