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BMW i Ventures is investing an undisclosed amount in Life360, a tech company that specializes in creating apps that make it easier for family members to track each other down. When the i3 and i8 plug-in electric vehicles debut over the next couple years, the cars could play a role in connecting people.

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Like patrons at the end of a long night, automakers and charging companies can sometimes be seen leaving the bar arm in arm. Coda with Mr. Electric. Holden with Better Place. Nissan with GE. Smart USA with Coulomb. Toyota with Leviton. BMW with AeroVironment.

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BMW is making some progress on the launch of its i Ventures spin-off. The company has named BMW financial services chief executive officer Edward Robinson as its president and announced plans to open a global headquarters "incubator laboratory" in New York City. Established in February of 2011, BMW i Ventures focuses primarily on mobile connectivity and location-based services aimed at increasing the "freedom of mobility" for residents in the world's urban centers.

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BMW finally put the speculation to rest about its new line of all-electric vehicles when it announced its new sub-brand – BMW i – and its first two models, the i3 and i8. But while the rest of the motoring press has been focusing exclusively on these newest EVs, BMW's announcement of a new vehicle-independent mobility service has been lost in the shuffle.

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