The all-electric BMW iX and i4 are the first BMWs with available 5G support via Personal eSIM. An eSIM, or embedded SIM is a SIM card built into in a mobile device—cell phone, tablet, smartwatch—that allows connectivity to a cellular network without a physical, removable SIM card. Personal eSIM allows a customer to add a BMW iX or i4 to an existing mobile phone plan, thus taking advantage of the vehicle’s 5G antenna and enabling an in-car WiFi hotspot.
As many as ten devices can be connected to the vehicle’s WiFi hotspot simultaneously, providing users with high-speed internet access for mobile office work or video streaming in full HD quality.
In support of BMW Personal eSIM, T-Mobile is introducing Magenta Drive for BMW. An existing T-Mobile postpaid plan can be extended with T-Mobile Magenta Drive to activate the Personal eSIM in the vehicle. Personal eSIM is linked to the user’s BMW ID, not the vehicle, so it can be transferred to other BMW vehicles that have Personal eSIM functionality. The eSIM is configured automatically when users sign in with their BMW ID and is available immediately.
Set-up is completed seamlessly via the My BMW app, and once the vehicle has been added to the plan the customer’s phone does not need to be in the vehicle to make and receive calls using the current cell phone number.
Even if customers choose not to add their vehicle to their mobile phone plan, vehicles equipped with Personal eSIM functionality still benefit from the low latency and high bandwidth of a 5G connection when data is exchanged between the BMW Cloud and the vehicle. For example, Remote Software Upgrades can be downloaded to the car in a fraction of the normal time required. Personal eSIM is available as part of the Premium Package on iX xDrive50 and standard on iX M60.
Digital Key Plus. The BMW iX will also introduce BMW Digital Key Plus, the latest generation of the smartphone-based BMW Digital Key. Digital Key Plus uses secure, ultra-wideband technology that allows customers to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, and start their vehicles without having to take the phone out of their pocket or bag.
With Digital Key Plus, the owner can set up a master key within the My BMW app on their phone, which will enable customers using iPhone to grant vehicle access to up to five other users. Parents will then be able to manage young drivers with vehicle access controls, which can restrict top speed, engine power, and maximum radio volume and ensure that the Dynamic Stability Control and Intelligent Safety features on vehicles so equipped cannot be deactivated.
eDrive Zones. BMW eDrive Zones is a digital service designed to ease drivers of plug-in hybrid vehicles’ access into city areas designated as zero-emissions zones. When it enters one of these zones, a BMW Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle will switch to fully-electric driving mode automatically (provided the battery is sufficiently charged). The switch is triggered by geofencing technology and GPS, and the driver is advised of entry into a zero-emissions zone and the switch to eDrive via the vehicle’s iDrive screen.
BMW eDrive Zones are presented in the main navigation map and in a preview map in the eDrive Zone app menu. The feature is being piloted in three cities in California: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. BMW eDrive Zones will be automatically activated in compatible vehicles.