Google, BMW Enhance European Nav Systems

    August 29, 2007

Europeans (and to some extent, the Japanese) get all the coolest car stuff.  The latest example of this involves a deal between BMW and Google; German BMW owners will benefit from a new in-car Google Local Search service, and a sort of precursor feature (previously available just in Germany) has now spread throughout Europe.

Google, BMW Enhance European Nav Systems
Google, BMW Enhance European Nav Systems

Thomas Wuertele and Jeff Zabel (of BMW ConnectedDrive and the US BMW Technology Office, respectively) started by explaining the less exciting half of this arrangement on the Google LatLong Blog.  “In addition to Google Maps Deutschland, you can now send businesses from Google Maps, Google Maps Italia and Google Maps UK directly to your in-car navigation system,” the pair announced to all European BMW Assist customers.

It’s an interesting idea, and one that we covered when the feature first debuted in Germany.  The in-car Google Local search takes things a step further, however, and should, as opposed to a sort of handy shortcut, provide truly useful assistance.

After all, as Wuertele and Zabel point out, “[W]hat about when you want to find a business on the road?  […]  Looking for a gas station, a museum or a nearby sushi spot?  This service gives you access to all the information from Google Maps while you enjoy your drive.  Just search online using Google Maps and transfer the address to your navigation system, or call the contact with one click.”

The BMW representatives then link to a YouTube video for a quick demonstration.  Unfortunately, they don’t give any sort of timeframe for when this service might become available throughout Europe, and there’s no telling when either of these features could come across the Atlantic.