- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2010

MUNICH | BMW’s Mini has chosen the 2010 International Motor Show scheduled for March 4-14 in Geneva to launch its new in-car entertainment solution: Mini Connected.

Through intelligent connectivity among the driver, the Mini and the outside world, Mini Connected offers options to enhance the driving fun associated with the brand. Mini Connected will be launched simultaneously with the Mini Countryman, as an optional specification.

With Mini Connected, BMW is the world’s first automaker to offer a USB interface whose unique functionality allows maximum integration of the iPhone into the in-car audio and infotainment system. This Mini-exclusive technology takes in-car integration of modern smart-phone telecommunications, entertainment and online functions to a new level.

All the functions integrated in the Mini courtesy of the Apple iPhone are activated and controlled using the vehicle’s operating system. When the system is fitted in conjunction with the new Mini Visual Boost radio, the full range of Mini Connected functions can be used. The radio’s high-resolution color display, which is integrated in the Center Speedo, and the center-console-mounted Mini joystick provide the basis for convenient, simple and intuitive operation. Information and instructions follow the Mini’s particular display logic, while the familiar Mini operating structure allows drivers to select and activate any function with minimal distraction from the road and traffic. To customize the system, applications can be selected or deselected quickly and conveniently using the vehicle controls.

The Web radio function will be showcased in Geneva as an example of the possibilities opened by Mini Connected. In a “hooked up” Mini - linked to the outside world via Mini Connected - the driver will be able to choose a radio station streamed anywhere in the world, provided the station is available in the extensive station database. The desired station is selected using the familiar controls on the Mini audio system, ensuring safe and convenient operation even on the road. Mini is the world’s first car to offer such a function as an option.

Mini Connected allows other services and functions to be integrated into the car as well. The innovative iPhone interface provides unique data exchange capabilities, allowing a range of infotainment, navigation and communication functions to be used. Mini Connected also allows functions to be enhanced or personalized to the driver’s individual preferences.

The diversity and flexibility offered by Mini Connected is new in the car industry. The future-adaptable Mini Connected technology will guarantee access to future innovations in the fields of entertainment, communication, navigation and information.

Mini Connected also incorporates the Mission Control module, which made its debut in the Mini 50 Camden anniversary model. Mission Control evaluates a range of vehicle, driving situation and vehicle environment-related signals, and supplies the driver with relevant information and instructions in customary Mini style. Mission Control gives the driver an even stronger sense of interacting directly with the vehicle, reinforcing the whole concept of the Mini as a car with character and personality.

The vehicle-related signals are used to generate constantly changing, situation-dependent messages. The dialogue may take the form of safety and comfort-related advice - for example, prompts to fasten a seat belt or guidance on the air conditioning system - or may provide information relating to the current driving situation and operating status, such as outside temperatures or fuel tank levels. The wide repertoire of messages, which marks a significant advance over previous systems, makes for a continually varied dialogue between the Mini and its driver, even in familiar and everyday driving situations. Thanks to Mini Connected, Mission Control now offers extensive functional enhancement and personalization options, including a choice of language versions and driving modes.

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