Image: BMW/Google

BMW Connected plans to work with Baidu Internet of Vehicles on home-to-vehicle communications and expanding its digital ecosystem for Chinese customers. Services under development will include remote controls, voice controls, vehicle status monitoring from an owner’s home, and searching for travel information and route-planning.

The global BMW Connected ecosystem is underpinned by its Open Mobility Cloud, and can be accessed via iOS and Android devices including iPhone, Apple Watch and those controlled by Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant [pictured]. Specifically in China, it currently offers a range of services including booking for repairs and maintenance, valet parking, fuel card recharging, queries about traffic penalties and payments.

BMW has also announced an expansion of its cooperation with Critical Software and the formation of a joint venture called Critical TechWorks. Critical Software provides systems and software services for safety, mission and business-critical applications.

The joint venture will look at further developing vehicle connectivity, cloud-based IT solutions and the digitalization of corporate processes. Areas of expertise to be established include artificial intelligence, data analytics, smart factories, customer ecosystems, vehicle connectivity and car-sharing services. Topics under collaboration include the digitalization and automation of product development, production and sales; and the creation of customer-facing solutions for infotainment and digital services.

Critical TechWorks will be based in Portugal, with its HQ in Porto and another facility in Lisbon. Goncalo Quadros, CEO of Critical Software, said in a statement: “Critical TechWorks will build on our collective talent, expertise and interdisciplinary culture to deliver disruptive, game-changing innovations that will transform the future of the car. This agreement is a major milestone for Critical Software and strengthens our international standing in developing forward-thinking technologies for sectors like the automotive industry.”

-Farah Alkhalisi