Some days it feels like we’re doing nothing but work. Even on our commutes many of us wind up answering work emails and texts. Perhaps when self driving cars become an everyday part of our lives we’ll be tempted to do more work outside the office.
According to BMW that future of fully functioning office work on the go may be a reality.
In early August 2017, the German automaker, BMW announced the development and release of three separate technologies. Together they hope these will set BMW apart in the coming generations of connected.
The first is Connected+. This expands and upgrades BMW’s current connected-car services.
The next is BMW ID. This will give owners unparalleled levels of personalization to every connected BMW vehicle.
Lastly, there’s BMW promising full integration with Microsoft Exchange and Skype. You’ll never escape a work email or conference again.
Here’s a more in-depth look at each:
When they announced Connected+, BMW reps referred to is as a “new era” of connected services.” The purpose of this platform is to better synchronize our cars with our smartphones, tablets and perhaps even computers. The services under this umbrella are designed to make driving even more convenient than it already was.
Connected+ includes a new navigation system that will keep track of your gasoline levels whenever you plot a destination and choose a route. You will now know if you will have enough gas to get where you are going and the way back home. Along the way it may even suggest gas stations to make a pit stop to, based on the estimate. This system utilizes your smartphone which will be wirelessly accessed to your navigation.
This system also has a means to send your location to a pre-selected group of colleagues, friends or family/ This is so they can get an ETA as you make your way to them and even inform them should you run into particularly bad traffic and delays. Another use would be for parents to keep track of their kids when they use the car.
Finally, Connected+ has a system to detect your first-mile and last-mile navigation. What this means is that it will consistently adjust your route from where you are, to your car, and on to your destination. This is convenient as well for those of us who often forget where we park. It will trace your destination to and from your parked car. No need to memorize anything.
Your BMW ID is a unique profile that will be uploaded to the cloud. It will keep track of your preferred driving methods, navigation routes and specific car settings (seat and mirror position, heat and air, volume on stereo and so on).
If you have a BMW ID and you get behind the wheel of a connected BMW (say you’re renting or borrowing one) all you need to do is log into your profile. Click and all of your info and preferences are transferred over to the vehicle until you log out. BMW has designed this to be user friendly with as few menus and tabs open. Setting us a car for the driver’s liking will be as easy as pushing a button.
Microsoft Exchange and Skype for Business Integration
And now comes the point where I inform you there will be no escape from work even on your commute. BMW is going to make is much easier for everyone to do work in their car.
This system will be launched in fall 2017. BMW is offering will offer their customers secure in-car access to their Microsoft Exchange email accounts. They will now be able to not only view and manage their emails and appointments in the car; they can also compose emails using voice recognition. The excuse for not sending that email from the driver’s seat (other than it’s still a major distraction & dangerous) will be a thing of the past.
It’s not all work and no play, however. You can also import addresses from your contacts and appointments directly to the navigation system. Any and all Skype sessions will be on your infotainment system and easily accessed by your iDrive controls. There is only audio, however and no camera. Yet.
The BMW Connected Car Lifestyle
While many automakers are speculating what the roads of the futures are like, BMW is already implementing several concepts outright. We have not yet come to the first generation of truly autonomous cars. However, BMW is ready to for it. So if you’re planning on adopting any of these when you buy a new BMW come fall 2017, do your best to schedule meetings once you’ve already entered the office — no need to overdo things.