There are more than 3.3 million BMWs on the road today able to receive over-the-air updates, providing new and improved features without having to visit the dealership. As cars become rolling computers, owners are being asked to input their personal data – including credit card info – to make various payments and access other services with just a few taps of the touchscreen.
BMW assures owners their private info won’t be shared with a third party. While making a speech at the Bosch ConnectedWorld 2022 in Berlin earlier this week, CEO Oliver Zipse said its suppliers will never have direct access to the infotainment system inside a customer car:
“We know suppliers – some of them are sitting in this room. They of course want the data from the cars, which we are happy to provide, but only over the back end. There will never be direct access to the operating system and the functions inside the car by third parties to secure the privacy and the security of all customers.”
BMW’s head honcho went on to say providing privacy is the most important promise it’s making to the people who are buying their cars. As the German luxury brand is gradually becoming a technology company and more than just an automaker, Oliver Zipse says it’ll never separate hardware from software – “it is all one thing, where everything has to come together.”
This software revolution hasn’t been smooth sailing for BMW as the company faced a lot of criticism earlier this year when it introduced a subscription plan for heated seats in some countries on entry-level cars. Whether we like it or not, on-demand features are here to stay in the automotive industry. Car owners can buy certain features and services outright or choose a subscription plan for a limited amount of time.