The rollout of the latest version of BMW Operating System 7 (ver. 11/20) got underway yesterday (22.02.2021) and BMW says it is the biggest over-the-air (OTA) upgrade in the history of the BMW Group.

Over one million vehicles worldwide across more than 20 models are due to receive the software update, setting a new record for the largest over-the-air upgrade campaign ever carried out by a European manufacturer.

Highlight features of the latest software version include 'deep integration of the voice assistant Amazon Alexa for five countries, the ability to quickly and easily sign in with your driver profile once on board using the My BMW app and expansion of Active Navigation to cover additional countries'.

Customers will receive a push notification in their car or in the BMW app on their smartphone as soon as the upgrade is available for their vehicle.

The deep integration of Alexa means customers can now use the voice assistant from Amazon in their car in exactly the same way they do at home. As a result, editing shopping lists, accessing the latest news and playing music are even easier, BMW says.

User can now also control compatible smart home devices from the car. Amazon Alexa is being made available for Germany, Austria, the UK (end of March), Spain and Italy as part of this upgrade. Amazon Alexa integration will be extended to more countries in subsequent upgrades, BMW says.

The personal BMW driver profile can also now be transferred to other BMW cars, including rental vehicles, quickly and easily by scanning a QR code using the My BMW app. Climate control and navigation settings will then be automatically imported into the vehicle along with the driver's favourites. Personal settings for e.g. seat position, exterior mirrors and driver assistance system preferences can likewise be stored in the profile. If a customer has linked their profile with the car key, their settings will be applied on opening the vehicle.

BMW also says it 'M Laptimer' promises greater driving pleasure on the track with the help of sensor data gathered directly from the vehicle (including accelerator position, rev speed, G-meter). Lap times, driving time and distance travelled can be viewed at any time, even while on the move, helping the customer to keep improving their personal track performance. Once their session is over, all the data from the BMW M Laptimer is compiled into a user-friendly format so that it can be analysed at leisure.

The latest upgrade for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant offers customers a taste of the sound made by BMW M models. A question along the lines of "Hey BMW, what does a BMW M8 sound like?" prompts the arrival of an aural accompaniment to sports performance.

ADAS

The Active Navigation feature offered as an extended function of the Steering and Lane Control Assistant will now also be available to aid drivers in France, Portugal and Spain. This function suggests making a lane change whenever one is required to follow the calculated route. If a gap in the traffic is detected, Active Navigation will wait until the vehicle is level with the gap before prompting the driver to change lane.

The upgrade process

Since 2018, BMW Operating System 7 and the Remote Software Upgrade facility have offered BMW drivers a quick and simple way of keeping their vehicle up to date with the latest software. New functions can be conveniently imported into the car over the air. The installation files are prepared in the vehicle in the background. Once this has been done, even major updates rarely take longer than 20 minutes to install.

Vehicles including BMW Operating System 7 that have been manufactured since November 2020 will have already been equipped with the latest version, complete with the additional functions.

Customers can check the software status and search for available upgrades by going to Remote Software Upgrade in the vehicle settings. Remote Software Upgrade is now available for over 20 BMW models spanning almost the entire BMW range. Customers whose vehicle's software predates the 07/20 version will have to download and install this intermediate version first before they are able to install the latest version. Users are only ever offered the next upgrade that it is possible to install, meaning they can never install an incorrect version.