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BMW Connects With the Head, Hands and Feet

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author photo by Autotrader October 2010

One function of BMW’s ConnectedDrive, a system that links cars to smart phones, is the hands-free tailgate opener on the upcoming 5-Series Touring (a wagon by any other name). Approach the rear of a so-equipped vehicle, perform a specific foot movement and the tailgate will open itself. So practical it’s ridiculous. And that’s not even the most impressive aspect of ConnectedDrive.

This technology will be made available in many BMW models, but comes in the new generation of X3 crossover initially. The company says ConnectedDrive creates “possibilities for boosting comfort and safety as well as optimizing the use of infotainment functions.” For example, users can enjoy text-to-speech functionality, where emails, calendar entries and other messages can be displayed and read out. Those photographs that flash up on the phone when specific people call? They can be shown on the car’s display screen.

Meanwhile, rear passengers using an iPad (or a PC-based notebook) can enjoy the special docking facility and wireless internet access on the move. Another feature is called iPod Out, where various Apple music players may be assimilated; album cover artwork can even come up on the screen.

In the company’s home market, the system will also pinpoint the location of a stolen BMW, provide concierge service, navigation with traffic updates, recognize personal settings (seat position, favorite radio stations, etc.) and relay collision notifications to the emergency services. American customers can expect a similar array of functions.

“We may not have some of the elements that are available in Europe,” said Dave Buchko of BMW North America, “but there is a lot that we offer now. And more will come, such as even greater smart phone integration.”

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
BMW Connects With the Head, Hands and Feet - Autotrader