BMW Adds News from CNN to BMW Assist

By Jonathan Spira on 16 March 2010
  • Share

BMW has been making continual improvements to the information services that are part of BMW Assist and has just added news from CNN, a fact discovered by The Diesel Driver today in our BMW 335d.

Back in 2008, BMW became the first automaker to allow drivers to send destination information directly from Google Maps to their car and is the only automobile manufacturer that offers Google local search in the vehicle.

This week BMW quietly added a real-time news feed to its online services portfolio.

Drivers now have access to the latest reports from CNN, covering general and world news, business news, sports coverage, news from the entertainment world, and the latest news from BMW.   While drivers in Europe have had access to news through BMW Online for several years (and unlimited access to the Web in Germany),  information services in the United States have been limited to weather, stock market indices, and fuel prices until now.

Each news article is only a couple of sentences and the car can read news to the driver using sophisticated text-to-speech technology which sounded quite good in our tests.

See our exclusive video for a full demonstration.

BMW Assist is standard for four years on most models including the 5er, 6er, and 7er Series and optional on other models.  The Convenience Plan (required for information services) costs an additional $199 per year.  The speech-to-text feature is available in cars manufactured starting in September 2009.