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BMW to Offer In-Car Internet Access

Posted: Mar 05, 2008 09:58 a.m.

Kicking Tires reports that BMW will debut an in-car internet service at the Geneva Auto Show, possibly as early as today.  However, "drivers will not be able to actually use the wireless internet technology known as ConnectDrive while the car is in motion."    CNet adds, "The browser is accessed and controlled via BMW's iDrive interface, with Web pages showing up in the high-res dash-mounted display. The system only operates in the front seats while the car's engine is off, but rear-seat passengers will be able surf to their hearts' content at freeway speeds if the car is optioned up with a rear-seat display and special rear-passenger iDrive interfaces."  According to Technoride, the system "works over EDGE technology -- another nod to cell phones -- which means that you'd better have some coffee ready in one of the cupholders while you're waiting for Web pages to load. BMW reformats pages on their own servers (similar to Opera Mini on cell phones) and then sends them to the car display. You can also send and receive e-mail from the car, and will possibly (at a later date) be able to access online banking sites."