BMW recently announced a refresh to its X1 compact SUV, which will go on sale in the spring of 2014. Several new tech enhancements will be available—if you choose the navigation system and the ConnectedDrive services that will be options for the car.
The new Online Entertainment system will stream music from the Web. Through a partner like Rara in the UK, for example, you’d be able to select from 250 million songs and 250 genres of music. (Note that the breaking X1 information is targeted to European customers. The app services will likely be different for US drivers.)
The important spec: You can choose whether to use the integrated app through the car with its own connectivity, or you can download the app to your phone and stream data using that device. No word yet on how much Online Entertainment will cost in the new X1.
The BMW ConnectedDrive app will offer some new features as well. For example, the ECO Drive Analyzer shows how efficiently you drive—whether nice and easy, or with too many gas-guzzling, jack-rabbit starts. The Last Mile feature shows you walking directions from the parked car to a nearby destination.
The app also shows Facebook and Twitter updates, and it read post from these services as you drive.
It’s good that BMW lets you choose whether to use your phone as the streaming device, as we’re all still getting used to the idea of having to buy a data plan for our cars. How well the streaming will work on the car’s own connection is something we’ll have to test for ourselves.