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BMW introduces downloadable vehicle upgrades

Downloadable upgrades remotely installed now available on select BMW models

13 Jan 2020

BMW Australia has introduced what it claims to be a first in the luxury segment by offering customers online upgrades to its vehicles that can be downloaded and installed at home.


Updates can be purchased and downloaded through the BMW ConnectedDrive Store app on owners’ smartphones, and will result in added functionality for the vehicle within minutes.


The first upgrades to be made available for Australian owners is High Beam Assistant, which can be digitally retrofitted on the all-new 1 Series hatch – launched in December – and will also be applicable on the new-generation 2 Series Gran Coupe, which arrives in the first quarter of this year.


High Beam Assistant uses a forward-facing light-seeking camera mounted in the rear-view mirror housing to scan the road ahead at a distance of up to 700 metres, and can prevent high-beam glare for oncoming traffic.


Models equipped with BMW’s latest infotainment system (BMW Operating system 7.0) are also eligible to retrofit the BMW Drive Recorder feature, which enables the car’s surround-view camera to capture video recordings of the vehicle’s surrounds for up to 40 seconds.


This can either be done manually with drivers able to select the use of all four cameras or the front or rear cameras independently, or it can also use all cameras by default to automatically make recordings in the event of a collision.


All footage recorded with Drive Recorder can then be exported onto a USB drive with date, time, speed and GPS coordinates all included in the video data.


BMW Drive Recorder can be fitted to a number of models including the 3 Series, 7 Series and 8 Series built from July 2019 onwards, and the X5, X6 and X7 SUVs from August onwards.


Using BMW Drive Recorder requires the fitment of Parking Assistant Plus, which is standard on all aforementioned models except the entry-level 320i sedan.


A remote software upgrade will also be made available this year for vehicles built prior to July.


BMW plans to release additional upgrades and updates in the future.


The German company managed to sell a total of 23,307 models in 2019, up 1.1 per cent on the 23,055 it managed in 2018, despite an overall market downturn of 7.8 per cent.

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