Chip shortage: BMW will deliver 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 stop it. To avoid the latter, BMW initially gave up Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for some vehicles until April and plans to deliver the features via an OTA update starting in late May.

BMW has had to do without the integration of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in some models, as reported last Friday Automotive news Europe (paid wall). In the background is the current chip crisis, which among many 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 vehicle screen cannot be played by the smartphone.

Vehicles with BMW OS 7 affected

After consulting BMW Germany, ComputerBase can confirm the lack of equipment, but the fact no longer applies to vehicles 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. So far, BMW OS 8 has been used in the iX, i4 and 2 Active Tourer series (test ). In addition, use in the new 7 series and thus also in 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 spokesperson confirmed to editors when asked, bottlenecks in semiconductor supply were the reason for the lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the aforementioned production period. BMW relies on new hardware for the main unit of the infotainment system, the software of which cannot be certified in parallel with the new hardware, so that BMW cannot provide some functions directly for delivery. In addition to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Wi-Fi hotspot in the car and remote software updates (RSU) via WLAN are also missing. RSUs, i.e. BMW’s OTA updates, are basically still possible via the LTE mobile radio module in the vehicle.

OTA update from Ende Mai

BMW also wants to use exactly this upgrade mode to present all the missing functions mentioned below. The software has now been certified and is already used ex works in vehicles manufactured since May. Noisy with the MSW 03-22 scheduled for the end of May Automotive news Europe but should be offered by the end of June at the latest, the missing features are expected to enter the vehicle.

Temporarily annoying, but easy to fix

The restriction in effect until April can be annoying for affected customers, but in this case it can be resolved relatively easily, as it is only missing software features that can be sent later via OTA update without restrictions, without the customers they have to leave the workshop they 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 again in full since February.

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