• Jun 25th 2010 at 3:58PM
  • 18

BMW ConnectedDrive
has been upgraded, turning the automaker's vehicles into the world's best four-wheeled email client. Beginning this autumn, iDrive will be able to connect to BlackBerry phones via Bluetooth and iDrive will be able to display email on its LCD screen. A voice output function is an optional add-on, giving your Bimmer the ability to reads your messages to you. The email functionality bolsters the office functions already included in BMW ConnectedDrive that allows compatible smartphones to pass calendars, text messages and even music player functions to the iDrive system in BMW vehicles.

The first BlackBerry phone that supports ConnectedDrive email is the Pearl 3G, though more will become compatible soon. The key to it all is Bluetooth, which expands the communication and entertainment capabilities of the iDrive system while also enhancing safety by reducing distraction. All BMWs equipped with the Professional navigation option can add the email function once it officially hits showrooms this fall. Get all the details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: BMW]
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BMW extends office functions to include incoming e-mail with voice output.

BMW ConnectedDrive enables innovative incorporation of BlackBerry smartphones via Bluetooth - an internationally unique function available for all BMW models from autumn 2010.

Munich. As part of the ongoing expansion of office functions in BMW ConnectedDrive, BMW is now the first automobile manufacturer in the world to enable e-mail messages to be received inside the vehicle enabled by a Bluetooth connection. From autumn 2010, owners of a BlackBerry® smartphone made by the mobile phone manufacturer RIM (Research In Motion) will be able to access the phone's e-mail function via the operating system iDrive. A new Bluetooth interface to integrate the BlackBerry device into the vehicle enables e-mails to be received, displayed on the Control Display and even read out by means of an optional voice output function. With this innovative technology, the premium automobile manufacturer continues to extend its leading role in the integration of entertainment, communication and online functions in vehicles.

The new facilities for e-mail access tie in directly from the BMW ConnectedDrive office functions presented at the beginning of the year. Likewise unique worldwide, these allow not just call and contact lists but also calendar entries, text messages, tasks and memos to be transferred from compatible smartphones to the vehicle via Bluetooth interface. The relevant entries can be selected using the Controller of the iDrive operating system and shown on the Control Display. Even the picture file saved with a contact address on a mobile phone can be shown on the vehicle monitor. In addition, BMW ConnectedDrive also allows the music player functions of smartphones to be conveniently operated using the iDrive system. Incoming e-mail in the vehicle represents yet another milestone in the integration of modern smartphones. The new BlackBerry® Pearl™ 3G is the first smartphone from the BlackBerry smartphone portfolio that supports this functionality.

Like the functions previously introduced, e-mail access via Bluetooth also helps make the use of communication and entertainment options of modern smartphones in the vehicle convenient and safe. The operating system iDrive provides unique facilities for the simple, safe and intuitive control of all functions while causing minimum distraction from the road. For the first time, incoming and saved e-mails from the Bluetooth-integrated smartphone can now be retrieved and shown on the Control Display in just a few standardized operating stages. Relief of the driver is further enhanced with the optional voice output function. It can be activated at a single press of a button, the text of the e-mail is then read out loud.

The new e-mail function is available for all BMW models fitted with the navigation system Professional including mobile phone preparation. It will be offered in Europe and North America from autumn 2010.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      So now the "Ultimate Driving Machine" has become the "Ultimate Distracted Driving Machine". This country is screwed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now... I wonder how many BMW owners will even figure out how to even use this feature without asking their 13 year old sons.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK, but only if you read it to me in the navigation voice I paid for, whether that's James Earl Jones or Bobcat Goldthwait.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yes! just like the tomtom!
      • 5 Years Ago
      - iDrive is already too distracting. I love my BMW, but I will never buy a BMW with iDrive!
      - People who wouldn't read their Blackberries may be tempted to use this, increasing the number of distracted drivers who are a danger to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who will be driving while the BMW owner is checking their e-mail and looking at themselves in the mirror?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This can't help. It's really OK to not be connected to your email for a few minutes and concentrate on cutting people off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This can't be true, can it? There has been such an uproar about cellphone use in cars and now there's the chance to read email? Should be fun on the road.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Available only with the "Nigerian Prince" trim level.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The voice-reading function sounds pretty safe though. Wonder if it works well?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. Having it read email to you is just like what TrulyMail does on my desktop. I love the idea of having the same feature in my car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm with Simple on this. IT'S TOO MUCH!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Reading email while driving. Mm. What could go wrong.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is an app on Android (and probably iPhone/Blackberry) that reads incoming emails and texts aloud or via bluetooth. Its called DriveSafe.ly The synthetic voice is the best I've ever heard and easily understandable. Its free but there is also a paid premium version. Very useful while driving. It can auto respond and I think the premium version can listen for voice commands.
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