Aug 21st, 2014
MINI concept cars have traditionally served one of two purposes: a design exercise showcasing future brand-direction but not bound for production or a thinly veiled version of a near production vehicle. The stunning MINI Superleggera Vision unveiled at the 2014 Concours d’Elegance at Italy’s Villa d’Este and the Rocketman Concept at the 2011 Geneva auto show fall into the former category. The latter would contain the 2010 Paceman Concept and the 2009 Roadster Concept and Coupé Concept. But in a society fascinated by both transportation and dreams of the distant future, what is MINI imagining beyond the edge of the automative horizon?
The answer is the MINI Design collaboration with online magazine Dezeen “Frontiers – The Future of Mobility” which will have an exhibit at the 2014 London Design Festival. continued →
Jul 2nd, 2014
According to German market research company GfK, BMW and MINI’s iDrive system is the industries best worldwide. The automaker scored highest for user experience with Audi and Mercedes in 2nd and 3rd place. However above all was customer experience associated with Apple’s iPhone. Here’s an excerpt:
The overall user experience score for automakers’ human-machine interface (HMI) systems was 4.3 out of a possible 6.0.
By comparison, the iPhone scores well above 5.0, said Tim Bosenick, global head of user experience at German market research GfK. He presented his findings at the we.CONECT Car HMI Concepts & Systems conference in Berlin this week.
Bosenick created GfK’s user experience score. It is based on: how easy it is to learn and use the HMI system; its look and feel; and, most important, whether the user is inspired to do more and more with it. This is where the iPhone scores very high.
Read the full report at Automotive News
Jun 12th, 2014
BMWand GoPro have taken the wraps off of perhaps the best MINI App yet. The new GoPro App features full integration of the camera’s functionality directly in the iDrive interface. We got to play with the new app and the updated GoPro Hero3+ at Road America recently (alongside the new BMW M4) and came away incredibly impressed. The in-car app not only allows you to start and stop the video but gives you a series of presets that takes much of the guess-work out of setting up the GoPro. In short it streamlines the process and gets you driving and recording faster.
The app works by having the GoPro app on your iPhone (it’s iOS only for this initial release) and the plugging the phone into your MINI App equipped MINI. From there you go to apps in the car and press GoPro – that’s it.
Video after the break. continued →
May 6th, 2014
Apple’s long awaited CarPlay is finally here and everyone’s favorite small car seems to be oblivious to it. Is that by design or was MINI caught flat-footed?
Given our conversations with MINI and BMW engineers over the past few years it’s clear to us that MINI and BMW are taking a wait and see approach with the technology integration. But it’s not due to BMW being caught off-gaurd. While it’s true that Apple has often been very very late to notify its partners about car related technology (Siri integration being a good example), our sources are telling us that Apple worked directly with automotive partners ahead of the CarPlay debut in Geneva earlier this spring . We also believe that BMW (and MINI given that they use the same iDrive system) has been testing its own integration of the system. However that’s not the only thing that BMW is testing deep within the labs of it’s Munich headquarters. continued →
Apr 23rd, 2014
Since its inception, MINI has been working to make MINI Connected smarter and better integrated. While so far much of MINI Connected’s functionality has focused on things like streaming music, driver feedback and economical driving, today they’ve announced a new app for MINI Connected XL called Journey Mate. By integrating the built-in navigation system with real-time traffic info, your own calendar appointments, nearby gas stations and available parking, Journey Mate is designed to help get you where you’re going and provide helpful context along the way.
We’ve said from the start that the potential of MINI Connected is perhaps its most appealing feature. As the system gets more and more well integrated into the digital world around us, it can only get more useful. For those of you looking for more than just the next streaming music service, this app’s for you.
As soon as any of you new F56 owners get your hands on this, we’d love to hear from you on how it works. Meanwhile, here’s full details from MINI:
Feb 24th, 2014
If you want to know what technology BMW is about to release in production form, BMW’s Innovation Days is your answer. It’s an annual program where the brand opens its doors and discusses what it’s working on and what we will likely see on the showroom floors in the coming years from both BMW and MINI. This year, as you might expect, it was all about BMWi and technology associated with it. As always we’ll have more on the topics in the coming months as they move from the lab to production.
Feb 23rd, 2014
It’s been well known that BMW was dabbling in carbon fiber wheels and that we’d eventually see them on cars such as the i8. What we didn’t know was when we’d see them across the model range. Auto Express had a chance to speak with a few folks at BMW who shed light on the companies plans.