BMW will increasingly adapt its cars to operate iPhone, Android applications onboard

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 19, 2011

The three- to five-year development cycles of cars have made it difficult for BMW to keep up with the use of various consumer devices in their in-car systems. This is why BMW will be increasingly adapting its cars to operate iPhone and Android applications onboard. A BMW spokesman told Automotive News Europe that by nature, car development takes a lot longer than tech development.

He said that what happened in the past is that if the automaker wanted to integrate a new connectivity feature, it may take years to wait for a software update or maybe even a hardware one.

The spokesman added that by working with app developments, it could now provide new features at the pace of tech development, which takes months or even weeks to accomplish. But BMW said that it will work to differentiate itself from its rivals by providing proprietary infotainment and safety systems that smartphone makers or other carmakers have yet to offer.

Recently, it has demonstrated a system prototype that shows images of pedestrians on the roadside at night that appear in front of the driver on the windshield. This is shown as part of its head-up display.

In addition, BMW created a system that uploads and downloads high-definition video content, which could be streamed to the car in real time either from a Webcam or a security camera. BMW product engineers said that within three years, these two systems could appear in cars.

BMW also said that it is planning to create systems that are better at integrating smartphone applications with the car console. As a result, they’re easier to use. The BMW spokesman said that due to the implications related to quality and driver distraction, the company isn’t rushing into anything and is being cautious in working with firms to guarantee that it could offer apps that are appropriate for use in the car. [source: Autonews]

Topics: bmw, iphone, app

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