BMW dealers will be able to activate optional extras on used cars

BMW dealers and their customers will soon have the ability to turn optional extras on and off remotely on used cars.

The manufacturer has revealed that cars will roll off the production line fitted with the hardware and software capabilities which will allow for many optional extras to be switched on or off at any point in the future.

It will allow drivers to trial features such as active high beam assist for a period of a month before committing to a one or three year service.

BMW 3 Series
BMW cars with its Operating System 7 will be able to activate certain functions over the air

At the moment, owners with cars fitted with the correct hardware can enable high beam assist, active cruise control or adaptive M suspension after the initial purchase, but BMW is looking to make this a more widespread application over the coming years. These purchases will be tied to the car rather than the owner, too.

It does mean that if a customer trades in their car for a newer model, they won’t be able to take their unlocked options with them. All cars fitted with the firm’s ‘Operating System 7’, which includes the latest 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series and X5, will be offered the update to a new system which allows for more over-the-air updates, while cars being produced from this period will have it installed at the factory.

In a statement, the manufacturer said: “BMW sees the car as a digital platform.

“More than two decades ago, BMW ConnectedDrive paved the way to more individual mobility. Since then, the company has been enabling its customers to benefit from the rapid technological development at any time with the continuously added digital services.

“With Remote Software Upgrade, BMW has created the technical basis for keeping vehicles up to date, adding or booking additional vehicle functions, and installing them quickly and easily over the air.”

It means that drivers of used BMW models will be able to restart optional extras that the original owner may have omitted during the build.

Customers will be able to configure their cars whenever they’d like – though initially in the UK this will focus on high-beam assist and Iconic Sounds Sports packages initially.

It does, however, mean that dealers would be able to ‘reset’ their cars to a factory state and then charge for optional extras depending on what the customer would like. Though as yet unconfirmed, the announcement of more software-based optional extras gives the brand the option to do this.

A spokesman for BMW UK  told Car Dealer Magazine: “We do not foresee features being disabled at a later date.”

They added: “With the option of subsequently booking additional vehicle functions via the ConnectedDrive Store, BMW is strengthening selection and personalisation for customers, offering them maximum flexibility.

“BMW provides the hardware and software in the vehicle ex factory for the implementation so that it can be adapted later on as required and in accordance with customer preferences.

“If, for example, vehicle functions were not yet requested at the time of purchase, they can be added later. A second owner thus can configure the used vehicle according to their own wishes.”

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