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      12-29-2014, 04:38 PM   #22
jadnashuanh
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Drives: 535iGT x-drive; i3 BEV
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA

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BMW doesn't really want to be a used car dealer, and to sell new cars, they'd effectively have to become one.

I tend to keep my cars awhile, but after the warranty runs out, I can be more selective about where I take it. But, prior to that, I feel more comfortable taking it to a place that has trained mechanics with factory support to figure out what is wrong. With the warranty supplied in the USA on new cars by BMW, why not take advantage of their care?

Software updates become slower to non-existent as a car ages unless it needs a new module, and that may require an update to make it all work. By having the dealership work on the vehicle, BMW can keep a database of what each car has and alert you or the dealer should something critical need to be updated.

Certainly, software can be designed to be updated OTA, but if the car is not at a dealership when it happens, there could be a hiccup, and then your car is potentially inoperative. Not a good thing either for you or BMW. Since the software core is huge on modern cars, some updates could require all modules to be replaces, and if you did that OTA, the volume of data could take many, many hours. If you wrote the code so that a single module could be updated, it would then have to be compatible with both the older version (who knows how many iterations) AND the new version, so that it could work piecemeal as it was applied. Just like updating your Windows platform, some things require a reboot...and, if it had to move an entire image, that can take awhile and again, just like with your windows machine...strange things can happen if it somehow gets interrupted. Much safer to have it all done under controlled circumstances both for the customer and BMW, let alone potential liability issues.

Now, if you had reliable gigabit OTA data pipe to your car, it might be a different story. Not going to happen in the near term. The car's SIM isn't the latest technology, and the USA data structure for cellular network is way behind most of the rest of the industrialized world.