BMW Unveils Restaurant-Booking Feature Ahead of High-Tech Car Arms Race

We have some suggestions. 

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BMW is leading the charge of traditional car manufacturers into the brave new world of in-car artificial intelligence. And while it may be waiting until its driverless cars are 100 percent ready to go before rolling them out, the company announced this week a new restaurant-booking feature for its ConnectedDrive service to help boost its tech credibility before the waves of Google, [Apple],( and even Samsung cars hit the streets.

The new feature will locate a nearby restaurant with available seating, make reservations, and provide the driver with the appropriate directions. The feature joins the roster of functionality in the ConnectedDrive service that BMW unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Users will also be able to control their home heating from their cars, a useful service for those who’d like to be able to crank up the heat before walking through the front door.

BMW even teamed-up with rivals Audi and Daimler to purchase Nokia Oyj’s HERE navigation and mapping business last year, providing a route onto the high-tech highway, while avoiding the clutter of developing their own system.

The foray into advanced digital features by the luxury car company BMW might be a sign of things to come, as other traditional manufacturers seek to brandish their own new capabilities ahead of what is widely expected to be a major challenge to the existing order by Google and Apple.

Since BMW is hoping to assume a position as a high-tech leader, we’d like to make some suggestions for digital car features that might be more useful than the restaurant-booker.


Reservations are nice, but we spend more time looking for parking than we do a spot at the table. Locate a free spot for parking and get us there before anyone else grabs it. Extra points if it helps with parallel parking.

Wireless internet

Whether for passengers or (someday) for drivers too, we’re tired of burning through our data while cruising down the highway. Only a few cars currently give off a wifi signal, so we’d like to see this become way more common.

Amphibious mode

Well, we may be dreaming here, but with all the talk of advanced digital features, we just couldn’t get our minds off our favorite old Knight Rider. As you may recall, KITT could transform into a ship for skirmishes atop the sea. It also had a thermal sensor, infrared scanner, and even a fax machine!

No telling when BMW will be able to pull off faxing.

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