In a move that seems designed to pamper to the British obsession with the weather, BMW has announced that they are to fit Michael Fish in to new BMWs fitted with ConnectedDrive! Actually, they’re not really fitting Michael Fish as he’d probably get it wrong, but the new BMW weather forecast system is going to be able to supply weather forecast and precipitation data to drivers on the in-car screen.
It’s inevitable that as the technology in cars becomes more sophisticated, and more cost-effective, we will get increasingly sophisticated systems at our disposal. We’re already seeing Internet access on the move and emergency assist at the touch of a button has been common place in many cars for some time. But BMW are claiming this to be a world first, and intend featuring it on cars pretty much straight away.
But is it a world first? I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen a similar system in use in an Acura in the States, although I think that system used the much more common (in N. America) satellite radio to get the information. Still, it may well be a first in so far as the technology will, I guess, be accessed through GPS.
Initially the system will offer data on current and forecast precipitation (rain, hail, sleet, snow etc) for the car’s location and destination. But shortly it will be able to offer a ‘Precipitation Pattern’ mode, which will show the movement of cloud for the preceding 90 minutes.
Perhaps the Met Office should make this standard issue for all their weather forecasters? After all, it’s got to be a step up from the current system, which seems to comprise mainly of looking out of the window before the forecast to see what the weather’s doing.
And if BMW are smart, they’ll offer it as standard in the UK. What real Englishman could resist a car with weather information as standard? Never mind fighting Mercedes and Audi for dominance in the UK market with the performance of their cars, just fit this as standard and they’ll wipe-out the competition!