BMW turns to Accenture to future-proof ConnectedDrive

Accenture, which provides management consulting, technology and outsourcing services, has completed the design and deployment of a flexible backend platform that helps enable the BMW Group’s connected vehicle offering, ConnectedDrive.

The new Business Integration Platform (BIP) from Accenture provides the product management, customer management, ordering and contract management capabilities for ConnectedDrive within the BMW Group, which includes the BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce brands.

BMW ConnectedDrive offers customer connectivity to web servers, real-time traffic information in combination with a networked navigation system, the integration of vehicle specific applications with mobile end devices, BMW head-up display or the emergency call functions.

The new ConnectedDrive Store enables customers to purchase services and applications directly from the BMW Group for the first time and customers can choose the services and services duration according to their specific needs.

BMW ConnectedDrive

Customers need to visit the BMW ConnectedDrive store conveniently from the computer or even directly on the Control display in the BMW. The settings can be managed online via the My BMW ConnectedDrive customer portal and apply settings accordingly. In the BMW ConnectedDrive store customers can book online an array of services and applications that are available individually for use in the vehicle.

BMW can be equipped with the series of services such as online entertainment, real-time traffic information, BMW online, remote services, and more.

Using the new BIP, the BMW Group is able to add new services for ConnectedDrive customers through the product catalogue and increase the range of services in the future. The store allows the sale of new services to existing customers depending on the vehicle capabilities.

ConnectedDrive Store offers consumers the ability to order connectivity solutions online through Connectivity portal. These services are available though the menu within the car. When the driver is planning a trip, the directions and plans compiled remotely will then be able to sync with the car’s ConnectedDrive system. The store is similar to a mobile phone application store like Apple’s App store or Google Play.

The ConnectedDrive stores are already available in Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany and will be available in the United States in spring 2015. The new platform has been rolled out across 36 markets over a two year period.

ConnectedDrive keeps the driver updated on the traffic situation. The system also calculates what delays are to be expected and recommends the detours.  It also provides Concierge services which helps in selecting the travel destinations. Once the destination is decided, the address details are sent straight to the navigation system.

If an airbag is deployed, Intelligence Emergency call automatically contacts the BMW call center via an accident proof telephone unit permanently installed in the vehicle. The emergency can also be triggered manually.

With remote services, smartphones are transformed into an intelligent remote control which can lock/ unlock the car. It can also set the temperature to cold or hot according to the requirement.

BMW’s ConnectedDrive is facing security issues according to the German Automobile Association, ADAC. BMW is working to fix a cyber security flaw that has left 2.2 million vehicles vulnerable to hackers.

Researchers found they could lock and unlock car doors by mimicking mobile communications and sending phony signals to a SIM card installed in affected vehicles. An attack could be launched within minutes of accessing the system without the perpetrators leaving a trace.

In response to the security gap, BMW says it has been upgrading software via over the air updates. The problem affects BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles equipped with ConnectedDrive since 2010.

In 2014, many luxury automakers released better in-car technology to meld the digital and automobile world for consumers.

British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is stepping up its efforts to present drivers with the best possible in-car technology system. It has a feature called justDrive that allows drivers to drive without much distraction.

Similarly, Audi of America demonstrated its technology advancements at Connected Car Expo in Los Angeles. Audi showcased a virtual cockpit or an entirely digital dashboard that will be available in selected models.

“Car buyers want the latest consumer technologies and services integrated into the connected vehicles, so the ability to add services in the future is very important. Leading car companies that sell a range of connected vehicle services directly to customers gain a much closer relationship to their buyers, establishing a new sales channel,” said Roland Mayr, managing director in Accenture’s automotive practice.

Accenture Digital has expertise across digital marketing, mobility and analysis. From developing digital strategies to implementing digital technologies and running digital processes on their behalf, Accenture Digital helps clients leverage connected and mobile devices, extract insights from data using analytics and enrich end customer experience and interactions, the company said.

Accenture generated net revenue of US$ 30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2014.

Shilpa Khatri

[email protected]