Amazon Alexa will now be available in four more countries.

Amazon Alexa will now be available in four more countries.

Photo: BMW

June 1 marks the start of the rollout of the new BMW remote software upgrade for 1.3 million vehicles with BMW operating system 7. This activates Amazon Alexa integration in four more markets. The upgrade also includes improvements, such as the integration of the traditional destination entry in BMW Maps.

Amazon Alexa Integration for Four More Countries

The upcoming BMW remote software upgrade will update the BMW operating system 7 to Version 21-03. The rollout in Germany will start on June 1, gradually covering more BMW Connected Drive markets worldwide. In total, more than 1.3 million BMW vehicles (and more than 20 models) will be given the upgrade.

Customers can now also use many of the Alexa features in their car including: add items to shopping lists, check the news, play music, or control compatible smart home devices from the car. So far, Alexa has been available for BMW operating system 7 vehicles in Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Spain, and Italy. This upgrade adds four more countries to the list - France, the USA, Canada, and Brazil.

BMW Maps Developers Bring Back Traditional Search Mask

The BMW Maps navigation system was rolled out in mid 2020 for vehicles with BMW operating system 7. The cloud-based system makes route calculation significantly faster and more dynamic by combining real-time information with predictive models. The cloud also contains additional context-related information on now over 120 million points of interest, such as ratings, opening hours, and images. The POI database is updated and kept up-to-date several times a week at short and regular intervals.

The easiest way to enter the destination is in natural language in dialogue with the BMW intelligent personal assistant. With BMW Maps, additional improvements in terms of ease of use via touch or BMW controller have been implemented. The one-box search was used for the first time, for example. This allows customers to search for the addresses and names of places, as they are used to with when entering text in web search engines. Algorithms are used to filter the applicable database to display the probable suggestions already during input (auto-completion).

Many BMW customers also want the familiar screen mask for destination entry (country, place, street, house number) back. According to a decision by product management and the developers, the traditional search was redeveloped in BMW Maps and is now available to customers in addition to the one-box search.

The adaptation for BMW Maps is activated after installing the current BMW remote software upgrade.

Further Improvements of Functions

One of the improvements provided by this upgrade is the lane departure warning settings can now be saved permanently. If customers do not wish to benefit from the lane departure warning, they can disable the function in the settings. From now on, the deactivation remains stored in the corresponding, activated BMW ID. The function is only reactivated if the customer makes the corresponding change in the settings.

Another improvement that comes with this update of the BMW operating system corrects a display error when playing media with Android smartphones paired via Bluetooth (with Android 11). After the upgrade, the cover art is processed correctly when music tracks are changed.

In some vehicle models with BMW operating system 7 the surround view on the control display was not positioned correctly. This has also been corrected as part of the quality improvements.

General Notes on the BMW Remote Software Upgrade and the Rollout

With BMW operating system 7 and BMW remote software upgrade, it has been possible since 2018 for BMW drivers to keep their vehicle up-to-date with the latest software easily and quickly. The new functions can be conveniently installed in the car over the air. The installation files are prepared in the vehicle in the background. After that, even the installation of extensive upgrades will rarely take more than 20 minutes.

Due to the Corona situation - with its impact on support capacities - the rollout of the current upgrade may be delayed in individual markets.

Vehicles with BMW operating system 7 not produced before March 2021 already have the latest software version.

Customers are informed about available remote software upgrade via the My BMW App or on the control display in the vehicle. In addition, the software status can be viewed in the vehicle settings under remote software upgrade and a search for available upgrades can be carried out. Remote software upgrade is now available for more than 20 BMW models, and thus almost for the entire BMW fleet. Vehicles with software versions older than 20-07 can only install the latest version after downloading and installing the intermediate versions. Only the next possible upgrade is offered for installation in the vehicle. The customer can never install a wrong version.

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