BMW has slowly but surely been ramping up its efforts to continuously review and improve the millions of lines of code that make up your vehicle’s central nervous system. Today, BMW drivers all over the world can also effortlessly upgrade their BMW Operating System over-the-air by using the Remote Software Upgrade function.
The roll-out of the latest available BMW software started in spring 2019, reaching more than half a million BMW owners. The campaign was kicked off in Germany, and is set to reach the rest of the world over the course of this summer. As for the next upgrade, this too is well underway, with the roll-out kicking off in autumn and reaching considerably more BMWs that have already hit the road.
“What many people perhaps don’t think about,” says Jochen Kurbjuweit, BMW Senior Manager Remote Software Upgrade, “is that our cars today have 50 to 60 computing units, including quite a few high-performance computers, that control, regulate and measure everything from the navigation system to the steering wheel. It’s a complex system of various vehicle functionalities, which naturally benefit from constant improvements to keep the car fresh and up-to-date. This is where the over-the-air upgrade function comes into play – it allows us to offer these improvements as seamlessly as possible – just as if you were updating any other device that you know and use.”
Why should I upgrade?
Shortly put, there are three main reasons why BMW drivers benefit from the Remote Software Upgrade function:
- Always fresh:
In general terms, upgrading your software will make sure that your BMW is always kept up-to-date. Basic functionalities might need a code review and a bug fix every now and then, and data and content will always be on par. Put in other words: upgrading is a form of regular maintenance that will make sure your BMW software is always kept as “new” as possible – a bit like, say, a digital car wash.
- Security and quality checks:
Making sure that your vehicle always lives up to current regulatory standards and requirements is paramount for a wholesome and worry-free driving experience. The Remote Software Upgrade function allows for rapid reactions to, for instance, newly introduced regulatory requirements, ensuring that your BMW always lives up to local regulations.
- Enhancements and new functionalities:
Remotely upgrading your car will bring the operating system fully up-to-date for free. This includes enhancements for features already onboard, like the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant learning new tricks, or the BMW Parking Assistant learning new maneuvers. Additionally, the vehicles will get entirely new features like the deep integration of third-party apps for streaming services, or the Dangerous Curve Assistant. Finally, the technology behind the Remote Software Upgrade also offers the possibility for customers to purchase and install optional equipment features even after the car was customized and built. Interested in “downloading” the High Beam Assistant or the BMW Drive Recorder? With Remote Software Upgrade, this becomes as easy as installing a new app on your phone, as long as the required hardware has been installed in the vehicle. Bottom line: an upgrade effectively gives you the best conditions possible to continuously improve existing features and install entirely new features altogether.
“There are clear benefits to continuously upgrading your vehicle’s software,” says Kurbjuweit. “But above all, you make sure that everything is up to speed and as ‘new’ as possible, digitally speaking. It makes sure that all functions have the best possible code working behind them. It’s therefore not only a question of digital maintenance – in fact, if you think about it, your car gets even better over time.”