Recharge Wrap Up: VW's Last Mile Surfer, Apple's BMW i3

BMW Also Lights Up Dashboard With EnLighten App

Volkswagen has unveiled its Last Mile Surfer. This little electric scooter – it folds up small enough to fit in the trunk and weighs just 24 pounds – will go on sale next year for around 1,000 euros ($1,100 US), according to VW chairman Martin Winterkorn, as reported by Autocar. Of course, we're wondering why you'd need to pay that much money to avoid walking a mile, but maybe we just haven't walked that far in an interested buyer's shoes. See more at Autocar.

Did Apple want to use the BMW i3 as the basis for its own electric car? That's the word from the German magazine Manager, which says that Apple and BMW were talking about using the i3 shell for the plug-in iCar (or whatever) started last fall but are no longer actively taking place, but the two organizations have not totally closed off communication. Read more at Manager or at Green Car Reports.

BMW is continuing its efforts to connect your car to your phone in interesting ways with the new EnLighten app. The idea here is to let your phone act as a bridge between alerts about traffic signals and the car, so that notifications can be displayed in the dash instead of on your phone. That should keep more eyes on the road and let drivers minimize those races to the next red light, which will save fuel. At least, it will do so in cities that broadcast that sort of signal information. Read more in the press release below.
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Traffic City Info Makes Driving in Cities Easier than Ever

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 27, 2015... The BMW Group announced today that it is the first manufacturer to bring the EnLighten App, by Connected Signals, into the car. Drivers of BMW Vehicles with iOS Devices will be able to see traffic signal data on the vehicle's display in real time. The EnLighten app makes driving in cities easier by helping the driver anticipate traffic signal changes, which can increase safety and help save fuel by avoiding unnecessary acceleration.

The EnLighten app shows the current status of the traffic light in front of the car in real time as well as a countdown to when the signal will change. Based on the current vehicle position, as well as its speed, the EnLighten app offers a recommendation about whether or not to stop for the traffic light or proceed through. An audio alert notifies the driver about a pending change in the signal they are approaching.

At intersections where there are dedicated traffic signals for turns, the activation of the vehicle's turn indicator tells the app of the driver's intention to turn so that only the status of the relevant signal is displayed.

In order for the EnLighten app to work it requires a city to have an integrated network of smart traffic signals. Supported cities currently are Portland and Eugene, OR and Salt Lake City, UT offering more than 2000 traffic lights. More cities will follow.

The EnLighten app integration will work in any BMW equipped with the BMW Apps option with the app running on a connected Apple iPhone.

Beginning today, when the EnLighten App is downloaded from the Apple AppStore , it will be compatible with any BMW equipped with the BMW Apps option.

Information about Connected Signals can be found at

Smartphones and apps in your car.

With the aim of enabling safe and comfortable use of apps in cars, the BMW Group was an early driver of smartphone integration and has already certified numerous apps for access in BMW vehicles. These apps have been optimized for use during a journey, can be operated via the iDrive Controller without distracting the driver and are viewed in the Control Display respectively.

App integration.
This app has been specially certified by the BMW Group for safe in-car use. The app uses the BMW Group's A4A (Apps for Automotive) technology and can be downloaded for iOS-based devices from the Apple App Store. Having connected their smartphone to the car via the USB socket or snap-in adapter and launched the app, users are presented with its various functions via the iDrive Controller, the Control Display and the car's audio system. To use the app in BMW models, the BMW ConnectedDrive Services option needs to be specified.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 123 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW products is available to consumers via the Internet at:

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