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BMW to offer in-car Internet access via iDrive in North America

by Paul Rachwal
BMW to offer in-car Internet access via iDrive in North America

In what could be the best thing to happen to iDrive since its inception, BMW on Monday announced it will offer full-blown Internet access in its cars via the controversial interface in North America. Back in February, BMW announced this ability is coming to Europe as part of a ConnectedDrive option package.



The system will only allow web browsing when speeds are below 3mph, but rear-seat passengers, provided the vehicle in question is equipped with a rear entertainment system, can browse the web at all speeds. The on-board computer will be able to send information from the Internet including directions, to portable devices such as cellular phones via the EDGE data network.

ConnectedDrive will start showing up in the automaker's cars in Germany starting in September, with other European countries and the U.S. shortly thereafter. Pricing of the package itself and any associated monthly fees for the U.S. market is yet to be determined, though BMW estimates put Europe monthly pricing will be around 15 euros, or about $23.