PressClub United Kingdom · Article.
Free over-the-air upgrades for 3.8 million vehicles: ten highlights.
11.10.2022 Press Release
+++ Extensive improvements to “charging route” function +++ New skills for BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant +++ Integration of Amazon Alexa now possible with BMW Operating System 8 +++ New My Modes for the iX and 2 Series Active Tourer +++
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Note: This press release is a 1:1 copy of the original issued
by BMW headquarters in Germany. No adaptations have been made to
cater for the UK market
Munich. The latest Remote Software Upgrade offered
free of charge for vehicles with BMW Operating System 8 has been
available since last week. A new Remote Software Upgrade for vehicles
with BMW Operating System 7 will also be available shortly. Thus,
improvements for a total of around 3.8 million vehicles will be made
available over-the-air. Since 2019, the BMW Group has been able to
modify every line of programming code in vehicle software remotely,
making it one of the first manufacturers in the world to offer a
functionality that is far more involved than mere navigation map
updates. The duration of the installation process also sets the
benchmark courtesy of a software architecture that has been gradually
refined over the course of the last 15 years, enabling BMW to install
software on all control units within the vehicle’s on-board network in
around 20 minutes. The free upgrades comprise both improvements and
extensions to infotainment, driving, drive system, driver assistance,
comfort and safety features.
The main elements of the Remote Software Upgrade 07-22 at a glance (followed by a detailed description in the text below):
- Extensive improvements to the charging- route (for BMW iX and i4 models manufactured before July 2022)
- New skills and greater visual expression for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (for all models with BMW Operating System 8 manufactured before July 2022)
- Integration of Amazon Alexa is enabled for BMW Operating System 8 (for all models with BMW Operating System 8 manufactured before July 2022)
- New My Modes “Expressive” and “Relax” (for BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer models manufactured before July 2022)
- In-car integration of the ConnectedDrive Store for adding functions at a later date (for BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer models manufactured before July 2022)
- Improvements to BMW ID and My BMW App (for all models with BMW Operating System 8 manufactured before July 2022)
- Exit warning function for increased safety when getting out of the vehicle (for BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer models manufactured before July 2022)
- Front Collision Warning with braking intervention helps to prevent collisions (for BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer models manufactured before July 2022)
- QLOCKTWO time display for all models with BMW Operating System 8
- Improvements for models with Operating System 7
1. A relaxed all-electric journey to your destination – with major improvements to the “charging route” in BMW Maps.
The Remote Software Upgrade brings extensive improvements to the cloud-based BMW Maps navigation system’s “charging route” function in all-electric models with BMW Operating System 8. As soon as the destination has been entered, a route optimised for charging will be calculated if the vehicle’s current range is not enough to reach the destination. Further improvements have been made to both the calculation algorithm used here and the speed of calculation for routes optimised for charging. Important additional information about the charging stops has been added in the route summary, such as the estimated state of charge upon arrival, the recommended charging time and the target state of charge for the onward journey. Live data is processed during the journey, allowing new charging stations to be automatically added to the itinerary if any of the stations originally planned for charging stops no longer have availability. The driver is also now offered alternative charging routes, where available. By default, the system is set to ensure that the vehicle reaches both the final destination and the charging stops with a charge level of at least 10 per cent. Customers are now able to adjust the size of this charge “cushion”, if required.
BMW iX3 models with Operating System 7 also benefit from the improved algorithm for more intelligent route planning and the faster calculation of routes optimised for charging.
2. BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant with new skills in models with BMW Operating System 8.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant now has greater visual expression. Following the Remote Software Upgrade, it is able to transform into some 20 different icons, resulting in even more animated and dynamic interaction with the voice assistant. In addition to this, the Intelligent Personal Assistant can now assume an “expressive” look – featuring a pair of eyes – when desired, bringing it even more to life. This way, customers are now able to choose between a “harmonious” and an “expressive” form of visualisation.
The Intelligent Personal Assistant’s range of proactive suggestions has been expanded to include the Active Cruise Control and Parking Assistant functions (where fitted) for increased driving comfort. If these functions are used rarely or not at all, the assistant will recommend activating them in appropriate situations.
3. Incorporation of Amazon Alexa now also possible with Operating System 8.
Following installation of the latest Remote Software Upgrade, customers will also have the option of activating Amazon Alexa in BMW Operating System 8. The deep integration of Amazon Alexa allows customers to use the voice assistant from Amazon in their car in exactly the same way they already do at home. This makes editing shopping lists, accessing the latest news or playing music even easier. Users are also able to control compatible smart home devices from the car. Amazon Alexa can be installed in the car in just a few steps with the help of the My BMW App.
It can be set up even more easily in the new BMW 7 Series by scanning a QR code, even without using the My BMW App.
4. New My Modes for BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer.
This upgrade adds two new My Modes – Relax and Expressive – to the familiar Personal, Efficient and Sport modes in the BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer. Relax mode activates special settings for a calming experience while driving, whereas the cabin assumes a far more dramatic look in Expressive mode. The 2 Series Active Tourer must be equipped with active seats for Relax mode and with one of the optional interior trim variants offering additional ambient lighting for Expressive mode.
5. In-car access to the BMW ConnectedDrive Store for adding functions with ease.
The Remote Software Upgrade provides in-car access to the ConnectedDrive Store in the BMW iX and new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Here, customers will find a summary of all the available services and functions for their vehicle as well as those they have already added. Functions on Demand offers BMW customers even greater convenience and flexibility when buying a vehicle by allowing them to opt for further functions even after the order has been finalised. They can choose to test out a function for free and then purchase it for a specific length of time, in which case they will only be charged for the selected period of use. If a function such as seat heating is purchased ex-factory when ordering the vehicle, it will be permanently available without any further charge.
An up-to-date list of the various Functions on Demand available can
be accessed in the BMW ConnectedDrive Store or via the My BMW App.
Availability of the products and functions varies from market to
market and depends on the technical capabilities of vehicles and their equipment.
6. Improvements for adding/removing vehicles in the My BMW App.
The latest upgrade makes it even easier to add a vehicle with BMW Operating System 8 to the My BMW App. The first time customers sign in to a vehicle with their BMW ID, the vehicle will be automatically added to the My BMW App on their smartphone, making it possible to use the extensive Remote Services. This also applies to BMW IDs that were set up before the upgrade was installed in the vehicle.
In addition to this, the number of users who can add the same vehicle
to the My BMW App has increased. This means that several members of
the same family, for example, can each enjoy the benefit of
personalised vehicle settings using their own BMW ID together with
Remote Services via the My BMW App. BMW Operating System 8 now allows
either up to three users (one main user, two co-users) or seven (one
main user, six co-users) depending on the model of vehicle. The first
user to add a vehicle to the My BMW App is automatically designated
the main user, while all further users become co-users. The main user
has special rights compared to the co-users, including the ability to
create and share the BMW Digital Key, user administration rights (e.g.
deleting BMW IDs in the vehicle) and assigning the role of main user
to a different BMW ID.
Terminating the connection again is also much easier: when customers delete a vehicle from the My BMW App, their BMW ID will also be cleared from the vehicle. And deleting a BMW ID from the vehicle will also automatically remove the BMW from the My BMW App, meaning the BMW ID in question will no longer have any access whatsoever to remote functions in the My BMW App. Customers can see the BMW IDs currently associated with a BMW at any time by going to the vehicle’s BMW ID settings. The main user is able to delete both their own BMW ID from the vehicle and that of all other users. If the main user deletes their own ID, all co-users will be deleted at the same time and the vehicle will be removed from each user’s My BMW App.
7. Exit warning function increases safety when getting out of the vehicle.
Flashing ambient lighting has been added to the exit warning function on BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer models – provided the latter is fitted with the optional Driving Assistant – manufactured before July 2022. As a result, the ambient lighting is also used to draw customers’ attention to the exit warning when necessary.
The exit warning function alerts the car’s occupants to approaching vehicles when getting out of the car and helps to prevent collisions. However, users remain responsible for assessing their view of the road and judging the traffic situation correctly.
8. Front Collision Warning with brake intervention helps to prevent collisions
The latest Remote Software Upgrade expands the capability of Front Collision Warning with braking intervention on BMW iX and 2 Series Active Tourer models manufactured before July 2022. The system can now also react to oncoming vehicles, e.g. when turning, and identify the end of a queue of traffic. This function helps to prevent collisions. The system is capable of detecting both oncoming traffic and the end of a queue of traffic and can either prevent a collision completely or reduce the impact speed substantially in a critical situation. However, users remain responsible for assessing their view of the road and judging the traffic situation correctly. Drivers must observe what’s happening on the road around them and take action as necessary.
9. Time update – design award-winning QLOCKTWO now available in all BMW models with Operating System 8.
QLOCKTWO is a time display that has won multiple awards for is exceptional design. It tells the time using a matrix of words that changes every five minutes. Softly illuminated dots of light at the corners of the matrix indicate the intervening minutes. Like BMW, QLOCKTWO succeeds in blending high-quality design with luxurious craftsmanship. The latest Remote Software Upgrade makes QLOCKTWO available in a total of 16 languages for all BMW models with Operating System 8. The widget automatically uses the language selected in the BMW Operating System 8 settings. Drivers can add the new widget by simply swiping the existing tiles in the main menu all the way to the left then selecting “Add widget”.
10. Improvements to the Lane Keeping Assistant in models with BMW Operating System 7.
A warning signal is emitted if the Lane Keeping Assistant has to intervene repeatedly in the steering. If the system makes another three steering inputs within the next three minutes, the warning signal will sound for an extra ten seconds with every subsequent intervention in the steering. With the upgrade, the warning signal is now reset to its original length in response to driver activity (only available for models fitted with the Lane Keeping Assistant ex-factory).
The Lane Keeping Assistant’s intervention in the steering when the car leaves its lane also becomes smoother, as both the duration of the steering input and the force applied are adapted more closely to the specific driving situation. The slower the vehicle drifts out of its lane, the more gently it is steered back into it.
To ensure the vehicle moves back into an optimum road position faster, its course is now corrected when it is close to the lane markings rather than after crossing them, as used to be the case.
General notes on Remote Software
Remote Software Upgrade is currently available for more than 30 BMW models with BMW Operating System 7 and 8. Customers can view their software version and check for available upgrades in their vehicle’s settings menu under Remote Software Upgrade. Only the next possible upgrade is available for installation, so the user can never install the wrong version.
The availability and content of Remote Software Upgrades depend on the country, model, equipment and installed software version. The country-specific BMW websites provide information on the relevant content and prerequisites for Remote Software Upgrade in each country. Instructions and tips for Remote Software Upgrade can be found in the corresponding BMW how-to video.