We reported last week that BMW will be the first one to offer unrestricted web access in their cars. They were supposed to reveal this new feature at the Geneva Show this week. Currently, the system, named ConnectedDrive, provides assistance and car services via a cell phone GPRS connection, with some restricted access to the internet.
Starting this year, the service will expand to offer drivers unrestricted browsing of the Web. The system displayed in Geneva is a prototype, but BMW say that the final version will have similar features and design. Of course, the system integrates into BMW's iDrive, so therefore the browser is accessed and controlled via the iDrive's interface, with Web pages showing up in the high-res dash-mounted display.
As a security measure, the system only operates in the front seats while the car's engine is off, but rear-seat passengers will be able surf to internet even while the car is in motion as long as the car is includes the option with a rear-seat display and special rear-passenger iDrive intefaces.
The service is to be rolled out in Germany starting at the end of the year and is expected to be priced between 100 and 200 euros for an annual flat fee. No word on whether and when this will be available in the U.S