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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics Engine, Transmission, Exhaust, Drivetrain, ECU Software Modifications BMW as a software company
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      04-26-2011, 03:41 PM   #1

Drives: 2011 550i
Join Date: Jan 2011
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BMW as a software company

There has been a lot of recent discussion/consternation about BMW's mid-cycle refreshes lately, specifically around the new instrument display, color HUD and the 6NR iphone integration option.

I and some of the others on this forum are excited that BMW is increasing the pace of innovation and introducing significant changes mid-year. This is a glass half-full or half-empty argument. Some get "screwed" by it, others benefit as some new post March build owners have.

However, I do have a beef with BMW on the 6NR option, and it's not because my car is a post September 6VC combox car, but that BMW has failed miserably in communicating the technical nuances of this feature. There are literally dozens of posts on this form and others amongst members trying to determine what features are in their current cars or cars on the line.

I think the issue around the 6NR feature is that BMW is just starting to realize that it is becoming a software company. I don't mean that software is somehow new to BMW, which it isn't, but that BMW drivers are now being allowed to interact with a much larger software surface area via a better iDrive interface, Google search, iPhone integration, BMW Assist and more. This is a double-edged sword. Cool consumer technology in the dash is where things need to go, but there are different rules to the software game than in the automotive world. I never liked the iDrive interface in my E60, but when Apple revolutionized the user-interface with the iPod and iPhone it made it seem even that much more dated. BMW engineers took the hint and dramatically improved the iDrive interface in the F10 in every way--cleaner, faster, less boneheaded, fewer clicks, etc. Kudos to BMW for elevating their game on the UI front. People expect software to get better, more feature rich, more extensible. They also don't expect to pay $70k for what amounts to a software service pack.

BMWNA--if you are listening--when you release an option like 6NR that looks, smells, talks like a software update, please at least explain why it can't be applied via the USB updatable interface that you already built into the car. If its not a pure software update, then say so. Tell me that the bus changed, that there is a new combox with a faster processor, more RAM, whatever in the March 2011 cars. If that's the case, I missed the boat and better luck next time.

Every day that passes more and more BMW owners on this forum or elsewhere are going to be more concerned about consumer software integration in their vehicles than the drivetrain. That is just a reality. Time to start acting more like a software company.
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      06-13-2011, 11:42 PM   #2
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Drives: 2011 550I rwd sport
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I am with you and wish i could do something...my contact at bmw na gave me a song and dance about technology...i dont even have a combox...i have tcu but when researching the 6nr at autoshow they said that even with combox you wont be able to upgrade i felt like now there are a whole class of people who got screwed. I want to buy the combox with 6nr from bmwretrofit if they ever get their act together and get it done.
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      12-29-2011, 02:27 PM   #3
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Drives: 2016 650i GC M-Sport
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Amen brothers!

2016 650i GC M-Sport w/ 20" 373M Wheels; Alpine White; Individual Opal White Full Merino Leather; Gray Poplar Wood Trim
Anthracite Alcantara Headliner; Ceramic Controls; Executive Package w/ B&O Sound System; Integral Active Steering, etc.
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