Driving is quickly becoming a connected experience. Although the first “carphone” was invented nearly 100 years ago, it didn’t have much range and was rather experimental. Today, mobile communication and connectivity is considered essential to most people.
We take our smart phones and mobile devices with us everywhere, but while we’re traveling there are a few technological gaps that can leave us hanging. But automakers are coming up with new ways to make cars fit our connected lifestyle. The latest BMW 6 Series lineup comes equipped with several features that make it even easier to use mobile devices while you’re on the move.
Personal WiFi Hotspot
From coast to coast you never have to worry about losing your Internet connection when you’re driving in a new BMW 6 Series model. The German automaker is now equipping vehicles in the 6 Series and 7 Series with a WiFi hotspot via a built-in SIM card. When you buy a vehicle new it comes with 3 GB of free data, but beyond that you’ll need to have a paid hotspot plan.
BMW’s WiFi uses the LTE network, but will automatically switch to another standard if LTE isn’t available. The hotspot is also compatible with virtually all mobile devices. When your car is full everyone is covered since the WiFi hotspot can support up to 10 devices at once.
The Wireless Charging Pocket
BMW 6 Series drivers also never have to worry about losing the charge on their phone. A wireless charging pocket now comes standard in all models – no outlet or cords needed. The pocket is hidden in the center console against the side closest to the driver.
The pocket uses inductive charging, which eliminates the need for actually plugging into a power source. It’s based off of Qi wireless charging technology. That means the wireless charging pocket is compatible with newer Android devices, however you can still use the feature if you have an older Android or an iPhone. BMW makes an accessory that allows almost any phone to be charged in the pocket.
A special hinge allows phones of all sizes to fit snugly in the charging pocket with or without a case. If you have a phablet or large smart phone, simply push the pocket outward to expand the size. Once the phone is inside and charging a blue light will come on letting you know the charger is working.
One problem that drivers ran into in the past was forgetting their phone was charging in the center console. There’s a solution for that as well now. You can adjust the settings in your car so that you receive an alert if you leave your phone in the pocket after turning the ignition off.
New iDrive 5.0 System Connectivity
The new iDrive 5.0 system now comes with BMW ConnectedDrive. This allows the system to wireless integrate with a variety of apps. While it isn’t as noteworthy as having a wireless charging pocket and WiFi hotspot, it does indicate that more connectivity is to come with future updates.
With these latest standard features BMW is solidifying its reputation as an innovator in the automobile industry. It also indicates that connectivity is a top priority that will likely be expanded on in coming years.