SIM card technology to feature in every BMW road car; enables remote updates to software

BMW is using SIM card-based Connected Drive technology to integrate all of its new cars into the Internet of Things and enable remote software updates.

Currently, the technology pairs a car to an owner’s smartphone to communicate with other connected devices, but BMW plans to directly pair its cars with other devices, such as an owner's house and heating system, to offer a wide range of intelligent connected services.

“All UK cars have a SIM card built into them, so that’s enabling every car to be connected,” said Andrew Furse, product manager at BMW UK. “That means we can keep the car connected throughout its life, not just new cars coming through.”

Furse explained that this SIM technology has enabled BMW to pair its vehicles with owner’s homes using something called smart home control, which was launched earlier this year and enables owners to adjust house appliance settings from behind the wheel.

“You can see if your smoke alarm has gone off because you'll get a notification in the car, or you can see if there’s a water leak and then speak to whoever’s in the house to find out what’s going on,” continued Furse.

Toyota and Hyundai connect to the Internet of Things

BMW’s objective is to fully integrate its cars into people’s digital lives. “The car can learn where you go and what sort of times you travel, and make moving from the house to the car a seamless transition,” added Furse.

He explained that this transition can help to make a person’s life more time-efficient. One example centres on traffic: at present if a driver notices that their journey will be affected by bad traffic, it’s often too late for them to adjust their plans.

Furse said if the car was able to communicate with other devices in the home to inform the driver that their journey might be affected by traffic at an earlier stage, it might give them more time to rearrange their plans.

Seat demonstrates Internet of Things connected car technology

“One of the best things for drivers with online services is that we can keep enabling new features for their car,” Furse added. “It keeps the car fresh and keeps the customer engaged with the brand from our point of view, so you’re more likely to remain with us because we’re offering something you can’t get elsewhere.”

BMW said currently 500,000 of its UK cars are already connected, but that eventually it hopes all will be online. It admits that a more open approach to development will be necessary in order to maximise integration with other devices, but says that it would never open up development for the car's core controls - like the powertrain and brakes - making it impossible to remotely hack these areas.

Our Verdict

BMW 2 Series
Buyers can pick from five engines in the new 2-series range: two petrols and three diesels

Coupé version of the 1 Series returns. It's bigger, but is it better?

Join the debate

Comments
1

30 June 2016
Sorry, don't subscribe to the whole internet of things, especially with something that has my life in it's hands.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI 4Motion front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    Latest Passat Alltrack is one of the best examples of that most inoffensive of things, the all-seasons estate
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 1.0 T-GDi 120 SE Nav front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    A UK drive in the Hyundai i30 reveals a rounded and capable hatchback, but not one to challenge the class best
  • Peugeot 5008
    First Drive
    16 February 2017
    Handsome seven-seater offers a smart interior with certain key practicality benefits, but it’s a slightly mixed bag to drive.
  • Car review
    15 February 2017
    The fifth-gen Discovery is simply one of the world's most capable cars, even with the addition of a 2.0-litre engine
  • Tesla Model X
    Car review
    15 February 2017
    The electric propulsion pioneer takes aim at the seven-seat SUV market