BMW of North America is adding features to its ConnectedDrive infotainment system as standard equipment on most 2014 vehicles.
BMW Assist with the eCall enhanced collision notification system has been made standard on all but the X6 crossover and some 3-series hybrid models. It had been a $650/four-year option, said Eric Sargent, ConnectedDrive manager for BMW of North America.
If an airbag inflates during a crash, eCall notifies the BMW Assist center. The vehicle transfers data on the accident location, number of impacts -- sensors can tell if the vehicle was hit multiple times -- whether the vehicle flipped over and whether the driver and passengers were wearing seat belts, Sargent said.
The system analyzes crash data for the likelihood of severe injury and sends the data to emergency medical responders, said BMW spokesman Dave Buchko.
"They could start doing things like line up the trauma center or have a helicopter standing by," Buchko said. "It is critical to save minutes in that first 'golden hour' -- what the medical industry calls it. After that hour the potential success of any treatment begins to reduce dramatically."
BMW Assist includes TeleService, which monitors the vehicle to determine when maintenance is required. The system sends data to the customer's BMW dealership, which calls to make a service appointment. BMW Assist is transferable to new owners for 10 years.
Other standard features include a new touch pad on the iDrive controller that is used for navigation, communications and entertainment. The touch pad is standard on all vehicles except the X3 crossover and the 6-series coupe and convertible.
Owners of the iPhone with the iOS 6 operating system can pair the phone to the vehicle with Bluetooth and use Apple's Siri Eyes Free or Samsung's S Voice applications. Responses are given via the vehicle's sound system. Music libraries on an Apple iPhone or iPod touch can be accessed via Bluetooth and no longer require a cable.
BMW's concierge service has been made standard on all V-8 and V-12 6- and 7-series cars or as a stand-alone upgrade on most 2014 nameplates. The service costs $100 for one year or $250 for three years
Subscribers to BMW Online -- a $100/year or $250/three-year subscription -- can use the Internet to browse, not stream, via a 3G network while the vehicle is stationary.