Advertisement

BMW to make extras like heated seats subscription based options

New software update for models with iDrive 7 also includes automatic switching to electric power in city centres for plug-in hybrid models

BMW has revealed a handful of new features for cars running the latest version of the brand’s iDrive infotainment software, which will eventually include the ability to make comfort and convenience features such as heated seats subscription based. 

From July, all newly built BMW models running the seventh-generation version of iDrive will receive updates and new features. Owners of existing models with iDrive 7 will also receive the new features by way of an over-the-air software update. 

As part of the free update, BMW plans to gradually expand its line-up of digital after-sales offers to include “certain comfort functions” such as heated seats, meaning buyers who don’t option them from purchase will be able to unlock them via app or through the infotainment system for a price. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

The functions will be already built into the car, requiring owners to purchase them outright, or subscribe for a period of one to three years. However, all unlockable, built-in functions and extras will be available with a one-month trial period. 

The update, which BMW says is its “most comprehensive vehicle software upgrade to date,” also includes updated navigation, a redesign for the BMW Personal Assistant, and the addition of wireless Android Auto smartphone connectivity. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Navigation now includes contextual information for nearby points of interest, such as opening hours, ratings and even preview images of destinations. The brand claims a new cloud-based route calculation system is faster and more accurate with real time traffic data than before and with easier destination input, while Connected Parking services showcase where on-street parking may be available at a destination. 

Connected Charging features now include additional information about charging stations, including opening times and real-time availability. Navigation automatically takes into account available charging points for longer journeys. At home, owners can define specific charging windows when the car is plugged in, to take advantage of cheaper tariffs at certain times. 

For owners of plug-in hybrid BMW models, the update introduces eZones, which uses positional data to identify when the car is in a low emission zone such as a city centre. The car will automatically default to purely-electric drive with no intervention, and BMW says it will launch in 80 European cities when the update goes live. 

Also part of the update is the introduction of BMW Digital Key, which means Apple iPhone owners can use their handsets as a fully digital key for the vehicle. 

Do you think subscription based options are a good idea? Let us know in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

New all-electric BMW iX1 SUV set for production
Electric cars

New all-electric BMW iX1 SUV set for production

An electric BMW iX1 is on the way, but will continue alongside combustion-powered X1 alternatives when it goes on sale within two years
31 Jul 2020
New 2021 BMW i4: prices, specs and release date
BMW

New 2021 BMW i4: prices, specs and release date

The BMW Concept i4 previewed the German brand’s forthcoming rival for the Tesla Model 3
29 Jun 2020
Apple CarKey launched in new BMWs: drivers can use their iPhone as a key
BMW

Apple CarKey launched in new BMWs: drivers can use their iPhone as a key

BMW will be the first carmaker to allow drivers to unlock their cars using just their iPhone with new Apple CarKey technology
23 Jun 2020
BMW and Mercedes pause autonomous car partnership
BMW and Mercedes
BMW

BMW and Mercedes pause autonomous car partnership

German firms had previously agreed to work together on Level 4 self-driving systems, plans that have been paused following a "mutual and amicable agre…
19 Jun 2020

Most Popular

New Ferrari Roma 2020 review
Ferrari Roma

New Ferrari Roma 2020 review

The new Ferrari Roma GT is the iconic Italian brand’s latest offering – and it’s a big improvement
4 Aug 2020
New 2022 Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 rewrites the supercar rule book
News

New 2022 Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 rewrites the supercar rule book

The new three-seat Gordon Murray T.50 is a spiritual successor to the McLaren F1, with two-thirds of the 100-car run already sold ahead of its 2022 ar…
4 Aug 2020
MPs to consider graduated driving licences
News

MPs to consider graduated driving licences

Transport Committee to hold evidence session looking at how graduated licencing could mitigate the risk novice drivers face on the road
3 Aug 2020