Future BMW cars will be equipped with integrated game controllers
German firm showcases next generation of in-car entertainment at Consumer Electronics Show in US
BMW drivers will be able to play multiplayer video games through integrated controllers and watch both live and on-demand television in their cars in the future.
The two new features were among a raft of innovations revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that are set to be used on the German firm’s future production models.
They also include developments of BMW’s existing voice assistant and remote parking systems.
The wireless controllers are designed for BMW’s latest 9.0 operating system (OS), which will be rolled out later this year, the games being shown on the car’s infotainment screen.
The system works through the AirConsole app, with users able to choose from games on the BMW ConnectedDrive Store.
BMW has also shown off updates to its video app for its 8.5 and 9.0 OS, which allows digital content to be streamed on the central screen through the Tivo app.
Developed in partnership with Xperi, the system now allows users to stream live television and access on-demand content.
The video app is currently offered in eight countries, including the UK.
As with the gaming system, it can be used only when the car is stopped.
A further innovation being showcased by BMW at CES is new wearable augmented-reality (AR) glasses.
Developed with Meta’s Reality Labs and Xreal, the Xreal Air2 glasses are used to overlay information into the driver’s sight, effectively serving as a more immersive head-up display.
The content displayed could include navigation directions, hazard warnings, entertainment content, information about charging stations and parking assistance functions.
BMW says the new glasses provide a more stable visualisation of content than earlier incarnations of the Xreal Air (an example view is pictured below).
A slicker connection to the sensor data of the car is also claimed to provide more precise pinpointing of visualisations.
BMW has also shown off its updated voice assistant, which works in conjunction with Amazon’s Alexa Large Language Model (LLM).
Earmarked for future production cars, it brings additional artificial intelligence (AI) functionality to BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant, which is said to allow for faster and smoother processing of conversational commands and questions.
BMW is yet to confirm when its new LLM-supported Voice Assistant will be made available, but the existing system (which works with limited AI functionality) will be further improved on cars running the 9.0 operating system in 2024.
The firm has also showcased new level-four autonomous driving technology. Developed in partnership with Valeo, it includes an automated valet parking (AVP) function that allows the driver to leave the car at a defined drop-off point. From this point onward, the car autonomously searches for an empty parking space and parks itself.
BMW said the new AVP function also allows the car to return to the drop-off point autonomously once prompted by the driver.