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Remote Parking, AT&T Support Coming to Millions of BMWs via OTA Update

Cars that can be updated over the air (OTA) are not something many of us thought possible just a decade ago. Yet here we are, living in a time when vehicles can get new features just like any other gadget we use to go about our daily lives.
BMW releases first software update of 2023 435 photos
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Not all, but a sizeable chunk of carmakers turn to OTA updates these days. The Germans at BMW started doing this back in 2019, and each year they deliver to perhaps millions of vehicles new features and capabilities, free of charge.

The first OTA of 2023 was just announced, and it targets no less than 4.7 million vehicles from 30 model ranges, all running the BMW iDrive Operating System 7 and 8. Some of the upgrades are generic, and apply to pretty much all BMWs included on the list, while others are either market- or model-specific. A rundown of them all can be found in the lines below.

First up, for the North American market there are a couple of goodies. Customers of telecommunications giant AT&T can now use BMW’s Personal eSIM features. That’s the tech that allows BMW owners to use Operating System 8 with the mobile phone in the 5G standard. Having access to Personal eSIM means people do not need to have the psychical phone inside the car to use the services they’re subscribed to.

Then, owners of the X7 SUV in Canada and the U.S. are to expect “a modern light graphic of the direction indicator,” because some people are into such things as well.

On a more general level (although subject to country-specific availability and regulations), BMW owners can now share their BMW Digital Key between iPhones and Android-based smartphones. They can do so from inside the vehicle, meaning there’s no longer the need for a physical key to be in the car.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of this update is the availability of remote control parking. This comes as a feature of the My BMW App, and will allow drivers to remotely park their cars based on moves previously recorded with the Manoeuvring Assistant. BMW says all sorts of maneuvers, including forward and backward parking within a six-meter (20 feet) radius, lengthways and crossways, can be performed.

Separately, the BMW iX receives the ability to stop charging and unlock the cable via the BMW app. Steering assistance when reversing with a coupled trailer will become a capability of the BMW iX, BMW Active Tourer and BMW X1 equipped with the Parking Assistant package.

Lastly, the 2022 BMW 7 Series and X1 from the same model year get a new My Mode, called Digital Art.

The German carmaker says the update is already available. The software can be found by accessing the settings menu and checking the Remote Software Upgrade tab.

Editor's note: Gallery shows the BMW iX.

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