Digitalization has shaped most people’s lives for a while now and regular over-the-air updates have become a matter of course. Updates deliver new features, greater security or enhanced usability for customers. The BMW Group became one of the first manufacturers worldwide to introduce Remote Software Upgrades in 2019. Today, it is able to modify every single line of programming code in its upgrade-compatible vehicles. This increasingly gives customers the option of adding functions later, as needed, or activating them for a limited time. BMW is constantly expanding this offering through “BMW ConnectedDrive Upgrades” – for example, for driver assistance systems or comfort functions. BMW will be offering another free Remote Software Upgrade from mid-May onwards for vehicles with upgrade capabilities. Since the number of eligible vehicles increases with every new BMW model, more than 3.3 million BMW cars worldwide with Operating System 7 and 8 are now upgrade-compatible.
QLOCKTWO widget: a highlight for the BMW iX.
The Remote Software Upgrade available from mid-May will prepare the BMW iX for the QlockTwo widget on the BMW Curved Display.
The QlockTwo time display has received multiple awards for its extraordinary design. The clock displays the time in writing every five minutes using a word matrix. Subtly illuminated points in each corner of the matrix indicate additional minutes. Like BMW, QlockTwo combines high design standards with luxurious workmanship. QlockTwo will be immediately available in BMW vehicles in a total of 16 languages, once the Remote Software Upgrade is complete. The widget automatically adopts the language from the settings in BMW Operating System 8. The driver can easily add the new widget by moving the existing tiles of the main menu to the far left with the “Add Widget” function.
Other digital functions and options with new Remote Software Upgrade.
• The Lane Keeping Assistant now recognises that the driver wants to merge back in after overtaking. During this manoeuvre, it emits a haptic signal only, in the form of steering wheel vibration, and no longer corrects the steering.
• The steering intervention made by the Lane Keeping Assistant is more comfortable overall, because it adjusts the steering time and steering duration to the respective driving situation: The slower the vehicle leaves the lane, the more gently it steers back.
• Another fully-electric BMW, the BMW i4, comes with BMW IconicSounds Electric, composed by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer.
• The Remote Software Upgrade enables further vehicles to use the BMW Personal eSIM, which integrates the vehicle into an existing mobile phone plan and takes advantage of the 5G standard for fast data exchange by the customer. After logging in with their BMW ID, customers can also make phone calls from the vehicle without their smartphone and stream data via the Wi-Fi hotspot. Availability of this function depends on the respective mobile communications provider.
• Some vehicles, like the new BMW 8 Series models, will also get a new software to improve the Iconic Glow function, which illuminates the BMW kidney grille.
General notes on Remote Software Upgrades.
Remote Software Upgrade is currently available for more than 30 BMW models, including nearly all 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 pages of the BMW website provide information on the relevant content and prerequisites for Remote Software Upgrade in each market. Instructions and tips for Remote Software Upgrade can be found in the corresponding BMW how-to video.
New features and widget for My BMW app.
Updates to the My BMW app will also expand and improve its functionality. The latest update for the My BMW app includes a widget with a selection of features for the home screen of Apple iPhones and Android smartphones. With the help of the widget, users can perform remote functions, such as unlocking the vehicle remotely or starting the climate control, with one click directly from the home screen.
The My BMW app update will be available to download from the Apple and Google app stores from 16 May 2022. Customers can use the My BMW app to download the new Remote Software, as an alternative to downloading it through the vehicle. The new software is convenient to install and rarely takes longer than 20 minutes.
The My BMW app also offers additional features – for example, connecting drivers fully with their BMW and providing status updates at any time. A new tab, “BMW Services & Store”, provides access to digital features and services from BMW partners, as well as financial services and information on new models. All activated and available services are displayed in the Digital Services Hub and can be added with just a few clicks.