You’ll struggle to be bored killing time in your new BMW, as it will soon offer in-car gaming entertainment.
BMW Group has partnered with Swiss gaming developer N-Dream to offer its cloud-based AirConsole gaming platform in new BMW vehicles from next year.
It’s expected this in-car gaming feature will come as an over-the-air (OTA) update at some point during 2023.
The AirConsole gaming platform currently has over 180 games that are run on an external display – in this case it’s the BMW Curved Display – and are controlled by smartphones.
The games are largely multiplayer-based and a cover a number of genres including racing, action, adventure, strategy, sports, quiz, and drawing games.
In order to join and play an AirConsole game, you need to scan a QR code that’s shown on the display.
“With AirConsole we will leverage innovative technologies combined with a broad variety of fun and multiplayer games,” said BMW Group connected company development senior vice president Stephan Durach.
“This will make every waiting situation inside the vehicle, such as charging, an enjoyable moment.”
This partnership between the BMW Group and N-Dream came about through the BMW Startup Garage program, which is aimed to help startup companies get a gateway into the automotive industry.
BMW Group isn’t the first company to introduce in-car gaming to its vehicles, as Tesla has offered this for a number of years.
This Tesla application is a little different though, as you interact with the games through the steering wheel, by touching the screen, or using an external gaming controller.
In terms of other infotainment-based innovations, BMW will launch its first vehicles with a new-generation voice assistant based on Amazon Alexa within the next two years.
The BMW voice assistant will “work in cooperation” with Alexa, and allow customers to control music, remotely manage their smart home, add items to a shopping list, or check the weather, as examples.
Customers will apparently be able to choose to use either the BMW voice assistant and Alexa individually, or have both assistants work alongside each other.
In addition, BMW confirmed in June it’s expanding its current BMW Operating System 8 and integrating Android Automotive into certain model lines from March 2023.
It’s still unclear what BMW models will receive this Google-owned infotainment operating system.
All other BMW models will retain the current Linux-based infotainment operating system for now, and for a period of time the German carmaker will offer both systems.
BMW said the new Android Automotive OS will “enable the infotainment system to be individually configured”. It will also bring “tailored, individual and expanded digital features and options”.
It remains to be seen what new infotainment features and options these BMW models will gain with Android Automotive.