BMW made a surprise move at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show this year when they setup an interactive space that demonstrated the features of the ConnectedDrive system. This interactive promotion by BMW was geared towards non-BMW owners to demonstrate what they’re missing when they drive any other model.

Throughout the day, a parking space in a garage was outfitted with a display screen to represent the ConnectedDrive infotainment system by BMW. The screen displayed various menu options and submenus in the system.

Once the driver notices the setup, the screen prompts them to interact with the system by honking and flashing their lights to discover more about ConnectedDrive. The main features include real time traffic information, updated weather information, entertainment, parking assist, and concierge services – many of the same systems you would find on similar systems from GM, Toyota, Cadillac, etc. (only no mention of wireless device charging, which is a cool feature of Toyota’s Entune system).

For the lucky few who got to play with the ConnectedDrive demo, the experience started out somewhat “ordinary” — drivers were greeted and given instructions on how to interact. Some controls were, what you might expect, such as the weather and traffic information.

It was when a driver selected the entertainment option that people began to catch on that this was no ordinary demonstration of the system — when the first driver selected entertainment, a live singer and dancers came out to put on a show. This part of the demonstration represents the access BMW drivers have to 18 million songs across 250 different musical genres.

Similarly, when drivers opted for the concierge service, a real life concierge come out to offer them cocktails. This is meant to represent the service offered to BMW drivers that lets them do things like make reservations for dinner, book a hotel, or find the nearest bank while on the road.

What was probably the most surprising to participants is the way BMW chose to demonstrate parking assist — when drivers selected this option, a team of weight lifters came out, picked up their car, and put it in place. What BMW is trying to show here is that this option will help them get into the tightest spaces with low visibility safely and easily.

Obviously, the experience a BMW driver gets is quite a bit different from that in the video, but overall they did do a great job demonstrating the features if they were transformed for real-life, hands-on type situations. Participants seemed entertained by the show and won’t likely forget the experience — which is exactly the purpose of the demonstration by BMW.

Author Jason Lancaster is the ultimate vehicle infotainment nerd – half car geek, half web geek. When Jason isn’t dreaming of the perfect connected car, he’s writing for, a website he founded that helps consumers manage their vehicle ownership experience.