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BMW developing in-car advertising

Virtual reality: BMW’s research partnership with SAP could result in recommendations of special coffee deals at nearby service stations being sent to drivers.

Pop-up advertisements could be coming to an in-car screen near you

BMW logo27 Jan 2014

YOUR BMW could soon be offering you products and services as you drive, based on your location and browsing history, if a new research collaboration with software giant SAP comes to fruition.

The “virtual marketplace for the future” research project will evaluate the viability of incorporating personalised advertisements into information streamed via BMW’s infotainment system The German car-making giant already offers a number of location-based information services via its ConnectedDrive app service that uses a smartphone connection and operates through the iDrive infotainment system.

Services, events and even special deals could be communicated to the driver that relate to the area or location they are travelling through, and BMW says this could help provide an even greater level of driver convenience and comfort.

“Results from this project could allow future navigation systems not only to provide information about the quickest route but also to provide recommendations about special coffee deals at filling stations, the best parking deals or even real-time offers at a sports shop along the route – but only if the driver wants,” the statement said.

SAP developed a cloud-based “virtual marketplace” and BMW developed a prototype backend in-car software system to deliver the information to the driver.

Using a 7 Series sedan as a prototype vehicle, BMW says the system allows users to choose their own preferences to filter specific offers, services and real-time information, depending on their requirements.

The example BMW uses is when a vehicle is nearing a destination using sat-nav, the back-end system sends a query with parking availability and cost to the SAP platform.

The system determines the most appropriate parking location based on pre-determined preferences selected by the user and displays the recommendations on the screen, allowing the user to select the location and add it as the new destination in the sat-nav system.

BMW Group Research and Technology project manager Dr Jörg Preißinger said that by entering into a research partnership with SAP, BMW is helping to develop more advanced and more convenient in-car solutions for drivers.

“In our vision for a virtual marketplace of the future, the vehicle will provide customers with context-adaptive, preference-based and timely offers and information relevant to their route.” The “virtual marketplace” is in the early stages of development and is a few years off being implemented but BMW says users will not be forced to use it and can opt out if they wish.

In Australia, the ConnectedDrive app services will start appearing BMWs from the middle of 2014, providing access to a number of music, radio and podcast apps such as Stitcher and Pandora that are already available in a number of Holden models through the MyLink system.

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