BMW has detailed the upgrades made to its iDrive 7 infotainment system over the course of last summer – including Amazon Alexa Integration, Uneven Road Surface warning and Remote Engine Start on demand.

Amazon Alexa Car Integration for iDrive 7 allows the driver and passengers to ask Alexa to send directions, play a favorite song, remotely control their smart home, add items to a grocery list and more from their vehicle.

Remote Engine Start allows users to precondition their vehicle’s temperature from their home or office through a smartphone app. Once it has been enabled, the vehicle’s engine will start – allowing its interior to adjust to the user’s chosen temperature. Remote Engine Start can also be operated using the BMW Key fob by a triple-click of the lock button.

While the feature has been available in BMW vehicles since MY2019, it is now available as a new ‘Function on Demand’, available for purchase through the ConnectedDrive Store for compatible vehicles that were not originally fitted with this option. Remote Engine Start can be downloaded and installed over the air via Remote Software Upgrade. On compatible vehicles, it can be fully activated through the ConnectedDrive store.

BMW’s departure timer feature ensures that a comfortable cabin temperature is ready for the user’s desired departure time. If the user is delayed, for example, a 15-minute switch-off timer will be activated to reserve their battery and fuel.

Vehicles equipped with Live Cockpit Professional and vehicle software 20-07 and newer can benefit from BMW’s built-in Uneven Road Surface feature, which provides useful notifications on the Instrument panel or, in vehicles so equipped, the Head-Up Display. These notifications will depict whether the user is encountering a single uneven road surface, or rough road area, within .25 miles of the first event. Uneven road surface notifications are triggered by potholes, speedbumps, sewer covers, or other generally irregular road surfaces that would lead to less-than-optimal driving comfort.

Uneven Road Surface continuously learns and automatically registers road imperfections and sends anonymized data directly to BMW, improving this feature in real time for all BMW customers.

On compatible vehicles, the Uneven Road Surface feature will be automatically added and activated at no additional cost. The ability to turn the feature on or off will be available from the main menu in the iDrive screen under the ‘Apps’ tab.