BMW's teaming up with everyone's favorite mapping monopoly, Google Maps, to bring a new addition to the BMW Assist Safety Plan. It's called "MyInfo," and it's a service which, in addition to sounding hip and techie-cool through deletion of the spaces in the name, will allow BMW Assist subscribers to send business locations, street addresses and their associated phone numbers to their car via some magical connection between the two companies databases. Look at it kind of like a way to use their ConnectedDrive feature from your home. You may already have intimate knowledge of what that's like if you've ever opened up a browser and spent any time at Google's "Local Search" page. The MyInfo system will be available in the BMW X5, X6, 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series, effective with Model Year 2009, but for 2008 will only be available in the new big-reared 2008 BMW X6 — which, as you can see through the link, we've already had the privilege of road-testing. Starting four days ago, in 2008 X6 "Sports Activity Coupes" equipped with the BMW Assist and Bluetooth systems, customers will be able to call the phone numbers received with their Bluetooth connected mobile phone or, if their BMW is equipped with a navigation system, immediately start route guidance by a simple push of a button. Not to shabby a plan if you ask us. But BMW isn't the first to offer space-deleting net-based navigation connectivity.
Nope, as you can see listed in the graphic above, Mercedes currently offers their "Search&Send" service, which basically offers the same thing. But both companies are relatively late to the game, with GM's OnStar being the first to offer a system with a from-the-internet feature, "Web Destination Entry." However, the advantages of the BMW and Mercedes systems should be obvious. The OnStar service is critically hobbled by their copious usage of the "space bar" and the decision to partner with Mapquest rather than the Gods of Google. However, they do get bonus points for OnStar's decade-long space bar-bereft name. Full press release, with stodgy spaces, below.
CONNECT YOUR DRIVE: BMW ADDS NEW "MYINFO" SERVICE FROM BMW ASSIST(TM) POWERED BY GOOGLE MAPS(TM) 04/11/2008 Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey - April 11, 2008...Navigation systems have become even easier, faster and more convenient to use with the introduction of "MyInfo". This latest addition to the BMW Assist Safety Plan allows subscribers to send business locations and street addresses and their associated phone numbers found in Google Maps(TM), an innovative online mapping service, from the comfort of their home or office directly to their BMW. Effective as of April 8 production of 2008 X6 Sports Activity Coupes equipped with the BMW Assist and Bluetooth® Hands-free calling System, customers will be able to call the phone numbers received with their Bluetooth connected mobile phone or, if their BMW is equipped with a navigation system, immediately start route guidance by a simple push of a button.
To use MyInfo, just search for a business or street address on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com) and click on the "Send" link at the top-right corner of the map. Select "Car", then "BMW" and "BMW US" for country and enter your e-mail address on file with BMW Assist as your BMW Assist account name. You can add a personal note, if desired, then press the "Send" button - and your destination is on its way. Once inside your BMW, simply push the MyInfo button within the BMW Assist menu and you will find the desired destination and associated phone number.
Already popular in Europe and recently launched in Canada this unique service allows advanced preparation for your next trip. Before you leave the house or office, you can easily and quickly determine online the exact location of up to 10 of your desired destinations and then make them available in your BMW. The advantage is that the listings found at Google Maps no longer have to be written down or printed out. Also manual data entry into the navigation system is no longer needed -the address and phone number is already in your iDrive menu. Even better, you can share MyInfo with your family, friends and colleagues so that they can send destinations, phone numbers and even notes to the vehicle while you are on the road. But best of all, there is no charge for this service, as it's included as part of the Safety Plan for the first four years, like the other benefits of Ultimate Service.
MyInfo will be included on BMW Assist-equipped X5, X6, 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series, effective with Model Year 2009. For now it is an exclusive feature of the 2008 X6. The X6 Sports Activity Coupe will be offered in the USA in two versions. The X6 xDrive35i, sporting a 300hp, twin-turbo, inline 6 cylinder will be available at authorized BMW SAV centers on April 26th. The twin-turbo V8 powered X6 xDrive50i will come to the US market in the late summer 2008.
To learn more about MyInfo, please visit www.bmwusa.com/bmwassist.
About BMW Assist:
BMW Assist provides the driver with services that enhance on-the-road security and convenience, for added peace of mind. The BMW Assist Safety Plan is standard on all 5, 6, and 7 Series models, including M5 and M6, and is included in the Premium Package or available as a stand-alone option on all other models. BMW is the only manufacturer that offers this service for 4 years at no additional cost. Most other manufacturers cover only the first year of service.
The in-vehicle equipment for BMW Assist includes GPS technology and hands-free communication functions accessed via buttons in the overhead or center console. Vehicle occupants may request emergency or other services simply by pressing a button; the BMW Assist system then transmits the location and vehicle information to the BMW Assist Response Center. A response specialist will then speak with the occupants to coordinate dispatch, notify emergency contacts on file, and link BMW Roadside Assistance or emergency services as needed and requested. A severe accident automatically activates the BMW Assist emergency call as well. The BMW Assist Safety Plan also includes Remote Door Unlock and Stolen Vehicle Recovery services, which can save the owner time and money.
TeleService automatically notifies the BMW center when a vehicle will need service. The Service Advisor then proactively calls the customer to set up a convenient appointment and have the needed parts ready.
BMW Assist subscribers can also enroll in the BMW Assist Convenience Plan (available at an additional cost of $199 per year) to avail themselves of BMW Assist Concierge services, from travel planning to dining reservations, shopping assistance and event tickets, as well as receive directions, and traffic and weather information. On most models produced September 2006 and later, a selected destination and its phone number can be sent directly to the BMW navigation system and Bluetooth®-linked mobile phone, after a push of the Concierge button. The Convenience Plan also includes Critical Calling, a service that connects the driver in case their mobile phone is not in the vehicle or its battery is discharged. After pushing the SOS button, a BMW Assist response specialist will link the driver to his requested party for up to five minutes and for up to four events per year.
As before, the BMW Assist system includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity with hands-free phonebook access and dialing by name or number via the steering wheel controls. Use of this feature requires a customer-provided compatible Bluetooth mobile phone.
BMW Group in America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and the X6 Sports Activity Coupe. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 82 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:
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