BMW rolls out new OTA update for Operating System 7 – 1.3 million cars get cloud-based GPS, Amazon Alexa


BMW has just announced the rollout of its latest Remote Software Upgrade, a move that will benefit 1.3 million owners globally. The Version 21-03 update involves over 20 BMW models equipped with the BMW Operating System 7.0, and when installed will provide a range of improved functionalities.

First and foremost, the Amazon Alexa support is now available in four new markets, namely France, the US, Canada and Brazil. This allows customers to do things like add items to shopping lists, check the news, play music or control smart home devices from the car. Existing markets with Amazon Alexa support include Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Spain and Italy.

The software upgrade will also add BMW Maps GPS navigation system, which was only rolled out in mid 2020. This is a cloud-based system that’s updated with real-time traffic status, so it can always determine the quickest route to your destination. BMW says its GPS navigation database covers over 120 million points of interest, including info such as ratings, opening hours and images.

Route searches can be done via voice command or the iDrive controller. It’s pretty modern as well, so all you have to do is key in keywords as you would normally do with web search engines. The traditional search mask with destination info has also been reintroduced, and can be selected next to the simplified one-box search system.

Now, the remote update can finally allow users to permanently save the settings of the Lane Departure Warning system. If you want it deactivated at all times, you can finally do that without it being reset every time you start your car. Conversely, it can only be reactivated if you personally enable it in the settings menu.

The issue with display errors involving Android phone users has also been rectified, though this is only for those with the latest Android 11 operating system. Owners experiencing an issue pertaining to the positioning of the surround view camera function will be glad to know that it has been fixed.

If you own a BMW that’s equipped with Operating System 7, you can easily perform this over-the-air update via the My BMW App or from the touchscreen display of your car. BMW says you will never be able to install a wrong version, and that the rollout of this upgrade may be delayed depending on the market due to Covid-19. Vehicles produced after March 2021 already have the latest Version 21-03 update installed.

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