At the Convergence 2008 conference on automotive electronics yesterday, BMW announced that it is looking for partners with which to collaborate on an open-source car computing platform. No other auto companies have officially signed on to collaborate, though Chrysler, Ford, GM, and Honda have reportedly expressed interest. BMW’s goal, with or without partners, is to have an open-source operating system in a vehicle selling 200,000 or more units over the next five to seven years. Read the rest of this entry »
As a precursor to the upcoming Geneva auto show, BMW recently announced its ConnectedDrive, an “intelligent network that connects the driver, the vehicle, and their surroundings.” Most notably, the system will deliver the World Wide Web, in all its glory, to the shiny LCDs of new BMWs. Unlike previous iterations, which only provided access to specific sites (like Google Maps), ConnectedDrive provides unrestricted access to the entire internet, allowing users to do everything from online banking to restaurant scouting from the driver’s seat. For safety’s sake, the system will only work when the car is parked. Initially, ConnectedDrive will run on the EDGE network (which can be painfully slow, but it’s more widespread than faster 3G networks).
We like this idea – it shows that BMW is really listening to its customers’ desire to be connected and plugged in. Though, we do wonder: why opt for an in-car system when you can just get an internet-accessible mobile phone? Either way, it’s a nice execution of a service that’s long overdue. Learn more at autoblog.