MUNICH, GERMANY – BMW is planning to offer unrestricted Web access with an upgraded version of its ConnectedDrive system. Like many other telematics systems, ConnectedDrive currently provides assistance and car services via a cellular GPRS connection, with some restricted access to the Internet. Starting this year, the service will expand to offer drivers unrestricted browsing of the Web, according to www.crave.cnet.com.
The browser is accessed and controlled via BMW’s iDrive interface, with Web pages showing up in the high-res dash-mounted display. The system only operates in the front seats while the car’s engine is off, but rear-seat passengers will be able surf to their hearts’ content at freeway speeds if the car is optioned up with a rear-seat display and special rear-passenger iDrive interfaces.
The service is to be rolled out in Germany starting at the end of the year and is expected to be priced between 100 and 200 euros for an annual flat fee.