BMW Won't Integrate Android Auto, Will Focus On Apps For Connected Drive

BMW's Gesture Control interface 1 photo
Photo: BMW
BMW has no plans to introduce Android Auto in its vehicles, but its customers with this operating system will be connected to their automobiles.
Instead of being Android haters, those at BMW have a different strategy in mind, which focuses on developing a platform that will be used to integrate numerous functions in the future. The mentioned platform is the company’s ConnectedDrive, which already has a cloud interface.

BMW has decided not to integrate Android Auto in its cars because it does not want to bring screens from the operating system to its vehicles. Instead, customers who have Android-based handsets would be connected to their cars using the multimedia unit, just like they are today, but with a better integration of services and solutions.

In an interview with Dieter May, BMW’s senior vice president of Digital Services and Business Models, TechCrunch has learned that the German brand has other plans in this field. Apparently, BMW does not consider that allowing third-party developers put interfaces in its automobiles is suitable in the premium segment.

One of the examples provided by Dieter May is that of a BMW 7 Series customer, who would not like to ask Alexa to roll up the windows. Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant, and BMW already integrated the system in some of its cars, but the example was offered just to explain the concept.

Instead of integrating everything as is, BMW wants to have an interface that is capable of “talking” to all of the relevant systems and “assistants,” and then use each of them to offer an ecosystem of functions.

As BMW’s representative has explained in the interview, none of the virtual assistants currently available are “great for everything,” which made the company’s engineers decide to build a system to integrate every important option.

Microsoft’s Cortana is already incorporated in prototype form, but more should follow in the future. At the end of the day, the main feature here will be the BMW Connected Drive cloud and platform, which will integrate the best elements from every virtual assistant supplier that signs a contract with BMW.

The blue-and-white roundel brand expects to show its latest integration to production vehicles at the Consumer Electronics Show, held each year in Las Vegas, at the beginning of the year.

The official even provided a nifty hint - if the company shows off a technology at the CES, it will reach production by the next edition of the CES.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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