Tips & advice

What is BMW Connected Drive?

Find out everything you need to know about BMW’s sophisticated BMW Connected Driveinfotainment and connected services suite.

BMW Connected Drive

The phrase Connected Drive is something you may well already have seen attached to a BMW, as it was first introduced way back in 2008 and was a step forward from the previous BMW Online system.

Beginning as a simple web browser, Connected Drive has frequently evolved and now incorporates a host of online services, safety functions and convenience features. The heart of the Connected Drive system is the central infotainment screen and a SIM card that is installed in the vehicle as a means of sending and receiving data via the Internet. 

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Depending on the age of the vehicle and the specification, the screen is controlled with the i-Drive controller, the touchscreen interface and voice activation, or a combination of all three.

As Connected Drive is a term that covers almost all the digital services offered by BMW, it is worth breaking them down into the various functions and facilities. Connected Drive Services includes BMW Online, with features such as weather, news, browsing, office services and BMW Routes, which allows you to search routes on another device and send them to your car. 

Within Connected Drive Services is BMW Apps, which allows you to use certain apps on your smartphone in the car, such as Audible, Spotify and Deezer.

BMW 3 Series - interior

Another function with Connected Drive is Tele Services; this is automatic communication between your car and BMW regarding the vehicle status, so that your preferred dealership will contact you when servicing is required. 

You can also use this feature in the event of a breakdown and it will notify you automatically if your car is parked and the battery charge has fallen below a certain level. This is included in all Connected Drive packages, along withn Intelligent Emergency Call, which automatically dials a dedicated help centre if the airbags or seat belt tensioners are activated. This function can also be operated manually via a dedicated button.

Among the optional functions within Connected Drive Services are Real Time Traffic Information, and the Online Entertainment option that allows music streaming without using your smartphone through Napster or Deezer.

A further option available through Connected Drive is Concierge Services, which is a 24-hour call centre that can help you find hotel and restaurant reservations, flight times, sport, weather and a host of other localised information. The service assistant can also send details of your chosen location straight to the navigation system. 

BMW has a Connected Drive Store within its website that allows you to browse these and additional functions and purchase them online, depending on the model of BMW you have.

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Also sitting under the Connected Drive umbrella is the suite of Driver Assistance systems. This includes features such as the Reversing Assist Camera, Park Assist and the Head-Up Display, but also things like Gesture Control which is available on certain models and in particular Remote Services. This service means you can activate some of the functions of the vehicle remotely, as well as take advantage of more of the Connected Services that BMW offers. 

These features include the ability to use your smartphone for locking and unlocking the doors, flashing the lights and sounding the horn. It can even control the auxiliary heating, show the vehicle location on a map and search nearby POIs.

Does your BMW have Connected Drive? Let us knwo what you think of it in the comments below...


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