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      05-06-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
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BMW to offer internet access via iDrive

Source: Leftlanenews

http://www.leftlanenews.com/bmw-to-o...h-america.html

In what could be the best thing to happen to iDrive since its inception, BMW on Monday announced it will offer full-blown Internet access in its cars via the controversial interface in North America. Back in February, BMW announced this ability is coming to Europe as part of a ConnectedDrive option package.

The system will only allow web browsing when speeds are below 3mph, but rear-seat passengers, provided the vehicle in question is equipped with a rear entertainment system, can browse the web at all speeds. The on-board computer will be able to send information from the Internet including directions, to portable devices such as cellular phones via the EDGE data network.

ConnectedDrive will start showing up in the automaker's cars in Germany starting in September, with other European countries and the U.S. shortly thereafter. Pricing of the package itself and any associated monthly fees for the U.S. market is yet to be determined, though BMW estimates put Europe monthly pricing will be around 15 euros, or about $23.
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      05-06-2008, 06:54 PM   #2
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yep, saw it. Not sure exactly what functionality it will have. And EDGE is not very fast connection, it will be slow to load anything.
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      05-06-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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yep, saw it. Not sure exactly what functionality it will have. And EDGE is not very fast connection, it will be slow to load anything.
Yeah, seriously. EDGE is horrible. Verizon's EVDO is a whole lot better, they should've used that.
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      05-06-2008, 07:55 PM   #4
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EDGE will be getting much better soon! Well maybe not soon to everyone lol
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      05-06-2008, 08:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegas335i View Post
EDGE will be getting much better soon! Well maybe not soon to everyone lol
Huh? Edge is done with. BMW should have gone with 3G.
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      05-06-2008, 11:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x5love View Post
Huh? Edge is done with. BMW should have gone with 3G.
Actually, EDGE is far more pervasive than 3G, which means it'll cover a broader slice of the market. This is one of the reasons why Apple initially launched the iPhone with EDGE capability instead of 3G. It essentially ensured everyone in the US would have data access no matter what city they live in -- read: the broader market.

As 3G takes hold, better devices (and support for those devices) will follow.
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      05-07-2008, 12:23 AM   #7
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Why have to pay a monthly fee for internet access? Since most of our phones get connected via bluetooth anyways why not use our phones to get on the 3g networks instead of having to pay BMW a monthly fee?
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      05-07-2008, 01:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humtek View Post
Why have to pay a monthly fee for internet access? Since most of our phones get connected via bluetooth anyways why not use our phones to get on the 3g networks instead of having to pay BMW a monthly fee?
fair point, fair point
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      05-07-2008, 06:31 AM   #9
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video calls thru you Idrive...and with bluetooth..hands free ..wow..talking about a killer option..make sure ya DON'T call the wife with ya mistress in the car...
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      05-07-2008, 06:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBry View Post
Actually, EDGE is far more pervasive than 3G, which means it'll cover a broader slice of the market. This is one of the reasons why Apple initially launched the iPhone with EDGE capability instead of 3G. It essentially ensured everyone in the US would have data access no matter what city they live in -- read: the broader market.

As 3G takes hold, better devices (and support for those devices) will follow.
That's all by far the silliest thing I've ever heard. 3G phones can drop back to EDGE when they lack a 3G signal. The only reason Apple didn't put 3G on the iPhone is because they could come out with a new one in a year and everyone would buy it. No company in the world is better at marketing and getting people to buy brand new products rather than sticking with whatever works.
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      05-07-2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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that's dumb. i would buy a car to drive it, not to surf the web. i can buy a computer for that, thanks.

BMW should concentrate on making their vehicles weigh less and look less like they have down syndrome instead.
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      05-07-2008, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbz View Post
that's dumb. i would buy a car to drive it, not to surf the web. i can buy a computer for that, thanks.

BMW should concentrate on making their vehicles weigh less and look less like they have down syndrome instead.
The point is to have convenience. I personally don't think I would use their internet to get my email or directions for that matter since my blackberry can do all this a lot easier, but if this feature allows me to send directions I found on my desktop and sync them with my car's navi, then it would be well worth it. I don't think paying BMW a fee for internet access is though.
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      05-07-2008, 01:29 PM   #13
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Interesting, but I agree with the sentiment that most of us already have internet capable phones. It remains to be seen how successful this will be in the NA market. Then again, it will probably do very well considering the nature of our market.
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      05-08-2008, 08:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humtek View Post
The point is to have convenience. I personally don't think I would use their internet to get my email or directions for that matter since my blackberry can do all this a lot easier, but if this feature allows me to send directions I found on my desktop and sync them with my car's navi, then it would be well worth it. I don't think paying BMW a fee for internet access is though.

you think just this feature alone is worth the about $300 a year? Idk, maybe if you travel alot
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      05-08-2008, 11:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBry View Post
Actually, EDGE is far more pervasive than 3G, which means it'll cover a broader slice of the market. This is one of the reasons why Apple initially launched the iPhone with EDGE capability instead of 3G. It essentially ensured everyone in the US would have data access no matter what city they live in -- read: the broader market.

As 3G takes hold, better devices (and support for those devices) will follow.
Actually, when you lose a 3G signal you get EDGE. Also, in the UK, EDGE coverage is next to nothing compared to 3G. Meaning that internet access will be available to LESS people in the UK because BMW opted to stick with EDGE only. So according to your argument, the BMW is offering internet to the narrower market. BMW doesn't need to worry about battery life either. There's no excuse for going with EDGE other than they were being dumb.
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      05-09-2008, 01:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by THE JEDI View Post
video calls thru you Idrive...and with bluetooth..hands free ..wow..talking about a killer option..make sure ya DON'T call the wife with ya mistress in the car...
hahaha. OUCH. that'd be bad.
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      05-09-2008, 12:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antzcrashing View Post
you think just this feature alone is worth the about $300 a year? Idk, maybe if you travel alot
The feature alone is worth an extra charge on top of the navi package. I don't think it is worth it if I have to pay BMW $30 or so a month for internet usage as most of us already have internet phones.
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      05-09-2008, 12:04 PM   #18
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iDrive is slow, edge is slower =

good to have it.

would be interesting to try to go online using the iDrive knob to type shit in. that is very useful... im being sarcastic that sucks balls
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      05-09-2008, 12:50 PM   #19
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In the UK we already have "connectedrive"

currently it allows you to
1. Send google map locations to the car
2. Do google searches in the car and then allow you to call/navigate too your prefered hit
3. Custom rss feeds to the car, it's setup on a website then in the car you get your local feeds if stationary.
4. Gives you the local weather
5. probably other stuff I haven't noticed.

This started out a while back with 6 months free but I guess nobody was using it, so now in the UK this is included free with the vehicle for 3 years, after that the cost will be 120/year.

I expect in the USA they might try something similar, see if it's a big hit, if not then give it away free for a few years until people feel confortable paying for it.

Right now I think the best feature would be the google search, instead of relying on old Nav DVD data you can find hotel etc using current google data, it even gives you pics of the hotel
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      05-10-2008, 06:47 AM   #20
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that sounds cool if I can plan my routes on google maps and send it to the car. THe auto route on the Nav doesn't always pic the best route. And it doesn't optimize between highway and byway. With google maps you can drag and drop the route and see what difference it makes in time. You can also find those very squiggly little roads that we really like to drive and add them to the the route.
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      05-13-2008, 11:57 PM   #21
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watch podcasts about Internet access on BMW-WEB.tv
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      05-15-2008, 09:08 PM   #22
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It's a start in a good direction actually!

There is actually a lot of practical uses by being "connected"...even if it is only an EDGE connection. BMW just needs to be smart about it and do some research so they don't have to reinvent the wheel.

At mp3car.com, a lot of us have taken out the factory radios and installed computers that we control through a touchscreen in the dash (myself included). Quite a few guys have added cellular data cards to their computers (through their own cell phone carriers) so that they could have an internet connection in their card. Here are some things they have already started doing:

-They get the most up-to-date traffic and construction information

-They have made programs that can display video feeds from traffic cameras in some major cities (it downloads in the background at first, then it trickle update itself if the connection is too slow)

-They can see live weather radar maps and other weather info centered around their GPS location

-A really popular program takes your GPS location and finds the current price of gas stations around you

-They can have emails (text to speech...not that great yet, but hey, it works. Hell, through Bluetooth connections with their phones, they can have text messages read to them as well).

-Something that is gaining lots of momentum is people listening to internet radio (usually people in a metro area though).


Keep in mind, most of these are very simple interfaces so they can focus on driving. Most of them are pretty nice looking too.


I have a feeling that I'm missing something, but you guys get the idea. There is a lot more that can be had with an internet connection (Even if it is only EDGE)...but you can all see the potential stuff that can be safely done with a connected car. Lets just hope BMW makes good with whatever they are concocting. I know I'm kinda of excited (but hesitant to do a monthly payment thing....ug)
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