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BMW ConnectedDrive

BMW ConnectedDrive

More than any other car company, BMW is using the Frankfurt Auto Show to display its research. Along with innovations such as its hybrid and hydrogen exhibits, it's also showing off ConnectedDrive, an intriguing development in navigation technology. The ConnectedDrive system is designed to let the user plan routes on a PC, then transfer them to the car via USB drive. A BMW representative showed me the different map displays in a test car. The LCD was used to display a variety of information, such as descriptions of points of interest, photos, video clips, and a topographical route overview. The system lets the user customize the data, adding extensive notes about a point of interest, for example, or including photographs of a particular vista. And in what I think is the most intriguing development, users would be able to download routes from BMW or share among themselves. BMW could offer a twisty mountain road performance route, or someone could document an interesting journey and share it over the Internet, complete with pictures and video that would be displayed on the car's LCD. This system also makes the navigation system, which is otherwise tied down to static information on a DVD, more dynamic.