Google your BMW

BMW makes Google local search available in its cars.

You can enter any search term, such as pizza, in BMW's navigation system.
Ask your BMW to find the nearest pizza.

Or maybe BMW your Google? At BMW's ConnectedDrive exhibit at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, the company showed off the first ever implementation of Google local search in a car. You can enter any search term in your BMW's navigation system, and it will find any Google matches for local businesses either within the vicinity of your car or another location you choose. It amounts to having a points-of-interest database searchable by keyword that always gets updated.

Or, if you're not the hands-on type, you can just use an entry in the navigation system to call BMW's telematics service, and ask the friendly operator to find what you need. If you were to ask for a hotel, the operator can tell you which ones are close by and have vacancies.

Results from Google's local search feature are delivered.
Results from Google's local search feature are delivered. CNET Networks

But there's a catch (isn't there always?). Google search is only available in a few European countries. If you're lucky enough to own a BMW and live in Germany, you can also find addresses at Google.de and push a button on the Web site to send them right to your car. We're not just teasing you with things you can't have--a BMW representative assured us that the company will work on bringing the service to the U.S.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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