US: Google has expanded its partnership with car manufacturer BMW to include a greatly improved set of services in BMWs having a built-in navigation system.
“Google is working with the automotive industry to bring Google innovations and services into cars, and to give our users access to relevant information while driving,” Markus Mühlbauer, Engineering and Product Manager, Automotive at Google, said. “Today, we’re happy to announce that in a joint effort with BMW, we have renewed the package of Google services that come with BMW’s ConnectedDrive service,” he added.
“BMW is introducing these services in every new car equipped with a professional navigation system as of September 2010,” he explained.
The updated ConnectedDrive will only be available to customers in several countries – Germany, Austria, France, Italy and the UK. The services will likely be extended to customers elsewhere, but Google isn’t saying anything for now. One very useful new feature is suggestions in Google Local Search.
The second big feature is the introduction of location photos for the places you’re trying to get to. Google already has a huge amount of location photos, satellite images, Street View and user-created photos. All of them will be available for BMW drivers to make sure that they know what their destination looks like before they get there.