Published: 07 November 2016
The launch of the new generation of MINI Connected takes the intelligent link-up of the vehicle, driver and outside world into a new dimension. The introduction of the upgraded technology sees MINI Connected start a new journey beyond the familiar in-car infotainment functions to include a personal mobility assistant which can also help with personal mobility planning outside the car as part of an integrated concept. Based on a flexible platform – the Open Mobility Cloud – MINI Connected weaves the car smoothly into the MINI driver’s digital life via the Apple iPhone, as well as Android-based smartphones in the future.
At the heart of MINI Connected, which has been available as a free download from the Apple App Store since 3 November 2016, is innovative journey management. This uses a seamless connection between a customer’s MINI and their iPhone to enable personal mobility planning. MINI Connected therefore acts as a personal mobility assistant that facilitates the everyday planning of appointments and sharing of destinations with the vehicle, and in so doing makes it even easier and more convenient to enjoy stress-free driving fun and on-time arrival.
The first version of MINI Connected, which has been launched as an app alongside the presentation of the new MINI Countryman, sees the personal mobility assistant performing a host of different tasks. Accessing the user’s calendar and appointment reminders, searching for new or recent destinations and determining the ideal time to leave for a trip are all taken care of by MINI Connected’s journey management technology. As with BMW Connected, the personalised mobility assistant is underpinned by a flexible platform (the Open Mobility Cloud) which can incorporate not only the car itself but also the driver’s touchpoint devices, depending on chosen options and MINI generation – via Bluetooth or a USB connection.
MINI Connected knows your appointments, destinations and expected journey time
The new functions of MINI Connected take into account that mobility starts far in advance of entering the car and that driving is always most enjoyable when stress, traffic jams and onerous searches for the correct route can be avoided. Addresses and appointments which drivers have stored in their calendars serve as the basis for personal planning and MINI Connected automatically brings them on board. MINI Connected takes the current location and pre-set destination, and factors in real-time information on the traffic situation to determine the ideal time to leave – and sends users a timely alert in the form of a notification on their smartphone.
MINI Connected launches the navigation system and shows the way ahead
As soon as the connection between the car and the user’s device has been established, calendar entries are automatically synced and the navigation system starts. Route guidance can therefore begin straightaway and without having to enter the destination all over again. And MINI Connected also offers the option of carrying over places and points of interest from other apps in order to transfer them to the car as destinations for the navigation system, together with the desired arrival time.
MINI Connected is a good learner
MINI Connected can store locations the user has driven to several times as favourite destinations and recognise trips made regularly – such as the daily route between home and work – so that it can keep the driver informed in advance regarding unusual traffic hold-ups along the route. And information on the vehicle status also assists personal mobility planning. For example, the driver can use MINI Connected on their device to check the amount of fuel in their MINI’s tank and the estimated driving range based in this result, allowing them to plan any necessary fuel stops. For the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, a hybrid-specific function is added to the service which, in addition to the battery charge and fuel tank level, also displays the range available on electric power alone and the overall range of the car.
As of now MINI Connected has been available as a free download from the Apple App Store in the following countries: USA, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil and Singapore. Regular updates will add even more features over time that improve the mobility experience of MINI customers.