SINGAPORE – Jacked into the Internet of Things, that is, and not like Mick Jagger in a hilarious sci-fi movie set ten years in the past.
From January this year, Mini has included the Mini Connected suite of services in all of its models sold here Singapore.
Mini Connected is essentially the same thing as BMW Connected, a suite of services that come with the car aimed at making the ownership experience better through – you guessed it – being connected.
We tested BMW Connected back at its debut in 2015 – it comes as standard with all new BMWs now – and found it to be a useful, though not essential tool, and we came to the same conclusion with the Mini-fied version.
Mini Connected allows you (via your smartphone) to talk to your car on a higher level thanks to an onboard 4G module.
It does pack in-car connectivity, such as Apple CarPlay and
Android Auto (sorry Android users, no luck for you) of course, but it goes further than that. Using the Mini Connected app you can check on the status of your car, everything from the fuel level to the maintenance status, or even find your car (if it’s parked outside that is).
There isn’t a real-life Concierge you can pester, like with BMW Connected, but there is something called a Mobile Assistant which syncs up your calendar and reminds you to leave in advance for appointments, taking RTTI (Real Time Traffic Information) into account.
What we found most useful was the ability to share location. Instead of Googling something, then typing in the address manually, you simply share it to the car via the app and it pops up on your display. No more entering Country, City, Town, Street, only to fall foul of a ‘nonexistent’ Street Number.
Also those of you who get into navigation-related kerfuffles with your spouse/SO on a regular basis can avoid all that. No more,”No dear I said ‘Jurong Bird Park’ not ‘Jurong Car Park’!”
Connected also has benefits to safety and maintenance, with the Teleservices function, which can notify Mini of any problems with the car, who will then schedule a service appointment with the owner. If you get into an accident, the Emergency Call Services will notify lifesavers automatically (depending on severity, if the airbag was deployed, and so on).
Like BMW Connected, Mini Connected is free for the first three years, although pricing details have not yet been revealed by BMW, although we expect them to be similar to the prices for BMW Connected.
According to the local website, www.bmw-connecteddrive.sg, prices range from S$110 per annum for a basic package (Remote Services, BMW Online, BMW Connected+) to S$460 per annum (the three services in the basic package plus traffic information, USB map updates, and BMW Concierge).
Like BMW Connected, Mini Connected’s Emergency call services, Teleservices, and Spotify streaming options are free for the lifetime of the car.