bmw assist ・ Photo by BMW Media
BMW Assist is a system that provides in-vehicle safety and convenience services such as collision notification and roadside assistance. Similar to GM's OnStar system, BMW Assist uses GPS to detect vehicle location and cellular networks to transmit the data, using the vehicle's antenna to transmit at a higher power than a normal cell phone. The system only transmits your location when you contact roadside assistance or after a collision, and does not transmit speed data or previous location information.
The main features of the system are an SOS button, which gets you in contact with a trained response specialist and provides them with your location, collision notification, which sends your location information to the appropriate emergency services for your area, remote door unlock, which you can use to unlock your vehicle with a phone call if you've locked your keys in the car, and enhanced roadside assistance that will send gas or a tow truck to your location.
Other features of BMW Assist include stolen vehicle recovery to help you locate your stolen vehicle (and which could lower insurance premiums), a concierge service to send directions to local points of interest to your vehicle's onboard navigation system or cell phone, and a teleservice system by which the vehicle detects when it needs to be serviced and then sends the information to your local service center.
You can also send Google map locations to your car from a home or office computer, and the system includes Bluetooth hands-free calling (using your choice of BMW-tested handset), which features speech recognition, dialing by name or number, steering wheel controls and access to your phonebook.
BMW Assist is available standard or as an option on all BMWs. It includes at least 1 year of free service, after which a yearly fee applies.
Photo by BMW Media