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Chip shortage: BMW will provide Android Auto and CarPlay via OTA update

Image: BMW

The global chip crisis often affects car manufacturers, who have to adapt their production and, in extreme cases, even have to pause it. To avoid the latter, BMW initially dispensed with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for certain vehicles until April and plans to provide the features via an OTA update from the end of May.

BMW had to do without the integration of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in some models, reported last Friday Automotive News Europe (pay wall). The background is the current chip crisis, which among numerous companies is also affecting the automotive industry. Alternative chips for the infotainment system have not yet been certified for the two solutions from Apple and Google, which is why the screen in the vehicle cannot be played from the smartphone.

Vehicles with BMW OS 7 affected

After consultation with BMW Germany, ComputerBase can confirm the lack of equipment, but the fact no longer applies to vehicles that have been produced since May. Affected are vehicles produced from January to April 2022 for the German market and other European countries that still use the infotainment system with BMW Operating System 7. The BMW OS 8 has so far been used in the iX, i4 and 2 Series Active Tourer (test). In addition, use in the new 7 series and thus also the i7 is planned for the end of the year. All other BMW models still use an older generation infotainment system with OS 7.

In addition to Android Auto and CarPlay, WLAN is also affected

As a company spokesman confirmed to the editors when asked, supply bottlenecks with semiconductors were the reason for the lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the production period mentioned. BMW relies on new hardware for the head unit of the infotainment system, the software of which could not be certified in parallel with the new hardware, so that BMW could not provide some functions directly for delivery. In addition to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Wi-Fi hotspot in the car and Remote Software Upgrades (RSU) via WLAN are also missing. The RSUs, i.e. the OTA updates from BMW, are basically still possible via the LTE mobile radio module in the vehicle.

OTA update from the end of May

BMW also wants to use exactly this way of updating to submit all of the missing functions mentioned later. The software has now been certified and is already being used ex works in vehicles produced from May. Loud with the RSU 03-22 expected in late May Automotive News Europe but should be offered by the end of June at the latest, the missing features should come into the vehicle.

Temporarily annoying, but easy to solve

The restriction that was in place until April may be annoying for affected customers, but in this case it can be solved relatively easily, since it is only a matter of missing software functions that can be submitted later via OTA update without restrictions, without customers having to leave the workshop have to visit. The situation was different at the end of last year with the lack of touchscreens, which BMW has been able to offer in full again since February.

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