The Internet of Things is growing exponentially which is driving companies to bring about changes in the way they do business according to changing customer demands. Leading automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers are already investing heavily in IoT.
This week at Microsoft BUILD 2016, German automaker BMW presented their vision of its Connected Drive in-car system. Called BMW Connected, the app comes in the form of a personal mobility companion that is mostly centered on navigation.
It helps with everything from appointment management to estimating travel times to the next destination on the basis of current traffic conditions and also to send directions from the phone to the car. Users will receive notifications through their iPhone or Apple Watch.
The new system for the iPhone is powered by Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing platform. It depends on the Open Mobility Cloud to provide up-to-date information about the routes and traffic condition. It's made to create a smart car experience that merges seamlessly with the smartphone, calendar, contacts, and every other part of the cloud-connected life. BMW plans to roll out the technology in other markets later this year.
Besides managing appointments and destinations from the calendar, the app will also learn from the user’s routine, the frequent destinations visited and provide the travel times it takes to get to those locations automatically. Most visited spots are stored and disclosed when the app thinks the user want to return to them.
With the Connected Drive app, drivers are enabled to connect a third-party application or make use of built-in maps app to pull addresses from calendar events, drive to close-by authorized BMW centres, suitable fueling and charging options, and parking places. And even if the drivers are not present in the car, the apps last mile walking guidance feature will direct them from the parking spot to the final destination.
Other than providing directions, the new system will also allow users to flash the lights, secure the doors, sound the horn, and even activate ventilation by remotely using the smartphone. And if the user drives a plug-in hybrid, they’ll be able to check battery levels, hybrid range, and electric range to ensure a successful journey.
While Android owners will have to wait a little longer, all BMW owners and iPhone-carrying customers can download the system from the Apple's App Store in the US market.