BMW revealed its revamped “Connected” assistant app in March, and it’s preparing to launch the official app this month. The first version of BMW Connected focuses first and foremost on journey management for the vehicle, featuring digital products and services designed to simplify the day-to-day planning of driving routes and appointments. It can scan your device’s calendar and address book, then calculate the drive time to an appointment based on your route and real-time traffic data. All that information will then by synced up with your car.
But the biggest news today is the addition of support for Amazon Echo and its Alexa engine. The new feature will allow owners of BMW vehicles – with the Connected app installed – to check their vehicle’s remaining range and use commands like “lock doors” through the Echo device. Via Alexa, you won’t have to trek out to the garage to be sure it’s locked in the evening, or to make sure you have enough gas to make it to work the next morning.
At the root of the BMW Connected concept is a flexible service architecture – the Open Mobility Cloud. This platform builds on Microsoft Azure and processes data and information from all sorts of different sources. With machine learning and data analysis capabilities also in its arsenal, it provides the basis for personalization and context orientation of the BMW Connected services.
BMW says that the app will arrive on iOS sometime in August, with the Alexa update coming later in the year. There’s no word yet on Android support.