T-Systems SA and BMW South Africa team up to continue to power ConnectedDrive locally
Recognising that today’s premium car drivers expect to be connected to the outside world 24/7, BMW South Africa (BMW SA) and T-Systems SA have partnered to continue with the evolution of the popular BMW ConnectedDrive service.
Since 2014, all BMW models have been fitted with an integrated SIM card embedded within the car’s chassis, enabling the BMW ConnectedDrive suite of services.
Since July 2016, this SIM card has been linked to T-Systems Connected Car platform, unlocking a number of future benefits for both drivers and BMW’s service centres – particularly in the areas of infotainment teleservices, mobile office services, and emergency response alerts.
As an early leader in the enterprise technology that powers connected car platforms, T-Systems SA’s Head of Automotive, Michael Frans, says that this partnership opens up an exciting array of opportunities for future innovations.
“Globally speaking, the number of connected cars on the road is forecast to grow from about 23 million today, to 152 million by 2020. For this to become a reality, automotive players are partnering with technology firms to provide the underlying infrastructure.”
“Advancements in smart factories and automation are radically changing both the automotive manufacturing process, as well as the aftermarket relationships between automotive brands and car owners,” he adds.
BMW SA’s Product, Pricing and ConnectedDrive Manager, Claycia Johnson, explains how these technology forces have translated into the development of BMW ConnectedDrive: “With BMW ConnectedDrive we ensure that our customers are connected to their vehicles and environments. These pioneering services use intelligent connectivity to enhance driving pleasure and increase safety, and are underpinned by a connection to a powerful mobile phone network linking with built-in SIM cards.”
BMW’s ConnectedDrive platform enables the following services:
• Intelligent Emergency Call and TeleServices: Calls to emergency response teams can either be made manually, or automatically (as the car detects a collision). With the location of the incident triangulated to the closest base stations, emergency teams can provide critical assistance as early as possible. Any maintenance issues within the car will also be picked up by BMW SA, often triggering a courtesy call that invites the owner to book their car in for service at their nearest BMW dealership.
• Internet Services: Drivers have instant access to information and entertainment during the journey, all delivered by the connected SIM card within the car. Text-to-speech allows the car to read out one’s social media feeds, favourite news websites, or recent emails for example.
• Real-time Traffic Information (RTTI)… the car will alert the driver whenever heavy congestion or traffic incidents are likely to delay one’s trip, and provide automatic re-routing to ensure the fastest possible time to one’s destination.
• Concierge Services: Drivers are empowered with 24/7 access to concierge services that find places of interest, restaurants, hotels, and anything else that they may be looking for.
• BMW ConnectedDrive Services and Apps: A number of popular apps have been directly integrated into the ConnectedDrive console – including the likes of Twitter, WikiLocal, news, web radio and calendar
• Remote Services: by pairing the car with an app on your smartphone, drivers can lock and unlock their car by using their phone (wherever they may be), as well as easily locate the car in multi-storey car parks, for example.
Johnson describes the two companies’ partnership is a “perfect fusion of expertise in the areas of in-car technology platforms and automotive innovation”. T-Systems is enabling BMW to reshape its markets through innovation, experience and the advancements made through its Germany-based parent company.
“In 2002, we launched our first connected car. We have since delivered 8.5 million connected vehicles to customers worldwide. Every BMW now comes with an embedded SIM card. We want to continue evolving and begin offering an even faster network to local customers as well as BMW ConnectedDrive with features that will, for example, in future assist customers in finding parking and charging spots, especially those customers who own BMW electric vehicles like the BMW i3 as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles like the BMW i8 and BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance. In the future, we will need enormous computing power from partners such as T-Systems and full scalability of the back-end in order to provide extended vehicle services,” Johnson concludes.
About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 151 million mobile customers, 30 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of December 31, 2014). The Group provides fixed network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has approximately 228,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 62.7 billion in the 2014 financial year – more than 60 percent of it outside Germany.
Deutsche Telekom considers the European business customer segment a strategic growth area. Deutsche Telekom offers small, medium-sized and multinational companies ICT solutions for an increasingly complex digital world. In addition to services from the cloud, the range of services is centred around M2M and security solutions, complementary mobile communications and fixed network products, and solutions for virtual collaboration and IT platforms, all of which forms the basis for our customers’ digital business models.
With approximately 47,800 employees worldwide, T-Systems generated revenue of around EUR 8,6 billion in the 2014 financial year.
Since the inception of T-Systems in South Africa in 1997, the company has cemented its position as one of the most successful T-Systems companies outside of Europe. A leading ICT outsourcing service provider locally, T-Systems offers end-to-end ICT solutions in both the ICT Operations and Systems Integration markets. Their extensive portfolio of services covers the vertical, horizontal, IT and TC space. T-Systems South Africa’s head office is located in Midrand with another major office in Cape Town, and 20 further representative offices in locations throughout southern Africa.
About the BMW Group:
With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2015, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.247 million cars and nearly 137,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2015 was approximately € 9.22 billion on revenues amounting to € 92.18 billion. As of 31 December 2015, the BMW Group had a workforce of 122,244 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.