BMW Connected, a new personal mobility companion, made its world debut at Microsoft Build 2016, Microsoft’s developer conference, last week. The first version—called BMW Connected North America—is now available at the Apple App Store to BMW ConnectedDrive customers in the US for iOS devices.
Powered by the Open Mobility Cloud, which is based on Microsoft Azure, and available for iOS, BMW Connected is part of the automaker’s vision for the “future of mobility,” which includes digital services, automated driving and assistance, and interiors designed for digital seamlessness. BMW built the Open Mobility Cloud, a new flexible, scalable platform, using Microsoft Azure technologies and tools.
Azure’s platform-as-a-service products such as App Service give BMW’s platform resilience and scalability, while Azure’s global network allows for a seamless rollout of services worldwide. Service Fabric enables the automaker to build individual mobility graphs with personalized data and real-time context. Event Hubs handles data injections, HDInsight manages large amounts of unstructured data and Azure Machine Learning enables intelligent, scalable systems.
For this first version of BMW Connected, journey management is the core service, with travel-planning before a trip and continued services afterward. To accomplish that, BMW’s platform captures data from different sources, including real-time traffic conditions, and makes it easy to add destinations from various sources like a user’s calendar, contacts, messages, apps and habits learned over time.
|“Microsoft is in the connected vehicle space, bringing all the elements around the intelligent cloud, reinventing productivity and creating more personal computing.”|
—Sanjay Ravi, Microsoft worldwide managing director of Discrete Manufacturing and Automotive Industries
BMW Connected provides estimated travel times in and outside the vehicle for routine or planned destinations. Based on traffic conditions, drivers will be notified when it’s time to leave, on their iPhones or Apple Watches.
As BMW Connected learns typical travel times between frequent destinations, notifications are provided when the trip will take longer than usual. The software will send a pre-formatted text message auto-populated with your arrival time.
For planning travel, drivers can search for points of interest or destinations in BMW Connected, a maps app or a favorite third party app and then add these to the BMW Connected profile. Calendar events with addresses are automatically imported to simplify daily planning. Nearby authorized BMW centers, convenient fueling and charging stations as well as parking locations are available with one click.
Frequent and recent destinations are learned and stored for quick future access and estimated travel times are shown at a glance. As learning continues, BMW Connected starts to predict the next destination to surface current travel times for easy decision-making.
To start in-car navigation, the driver connects his or her smartphone to their BMW or sends the destination in advance. BMW Connected allows easy access to all places both in-car and on your smartphone to quickly re-use destinations and check drive times.
BMW Connected completes the journey by providing an easy way to start last mile walking guidance from parking spot to final destination on a smartphone.
A key element of BMW Connected is the seamless integration with vehicles equipped with BMW ConnectedDrive. It’s quick and easy to stay in touch with a BMW via remote functionality on the smartphone: lock the doors, flash the lights, sound the horn and start ventilation remotely.
For BMW plug-in hybrid models, drivers can view the battery state of charge, electric range and hybrid range.
Open Mobility Cloud. The Open Mobility Cloud is at the core of delivering on BMW’s vision of seamless integration of everyday devices and touchpoints along with relevant services and already powers the BMW Connected experience today.
BMW created the Open Mobility Cloud, which drives rapid innovation around customer needs using Azure and Azure Services. The Open Mobility Cloud is an intelligent, continuously-learning platform built to meld context, environment, touchpoints and services in the right mix and at the right time to address customers’ individual mobility needs.
It is open to integrate any device or partner service that adds value to BMW customers and focused on mobility to seamlessly integrate the vehicle into daily digital life. The platform is based on state-of-the art cloud technology to work in the background on behalf of BMW consumers to deliver contextual, personalized services just as the need arises.
The platform offers capabilities for machine learning and data analysis. In addition, the Microsoft platform will allow developers to more easily interoperate innovative applications, data and IoT services into the OMC. Azure, a global cloud platform, allows for a seamless rollout of services worldwide, scaling quickly to reach customers in any region.