Google, BMW Get Drivers Where They Need To Go

    March 7, 2007

BMW’s tagline used to be “Ultimate Driving Machine.” Then, in 2006, the auto manufacturer switched to “A Company of Ideas.” While that doesn’t have the same ring, it may at least allow a bit more room to explain BMW’s new arrangement with Google. In effect, German bimmer owners will be able to link their cars’ navigation systems to Google Maps.

Thai Tran, a product manager at the search engine company, explained the feature in greater detail. “[U]sers in Germany can send a business listing found on Google Maps Deutschland directly to cars enabled with the BMW Assist service,” he wrote. “Drivers can then set it as the destination for the in-car navigation system, or they can call the business from within the car.”

The main point of all this? “No more having to write down the address and re-enter it in the car – now you can just click and drive!” Tran provided a nifty little video if you’d like to see the feature in action. It should make life a little simpler for BMW owners, assuming they can figure out the (reportedly) awful iDrive controller that’s in charge of the operation.

This isn’t a technological breakthrough; Google worked out deals with both Volkswagen and Honda some time ago, and aftermarket navigation systems are capable of similar feats. Still, good for Google – and BMW. Now we just need the companies to bring it this feature to the U.S.

Keep an eye out, considering that Tran concluded, “As additional devices come online, we’re excited to see what is possible, and we’ll continue working to make the information that you need available to you when and where you need it.”

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