Send destination to the car

BMW i3 has a large screen ideal for navigation. Google is outstanding at finding your destination. It is possible to combine the best of both worlds.

BMW has a really good navigation application in the i3. Enter an address, and it suggests a good route and gives clear directions on the large well-placed display. Perfect!? The challenge is that no one reasonably knows the address to IKEA, the concert hall, the football stadium or any other destination.

Instead of using the BMW navigation I find myself pulling up the phone, googling the destination, and using the Google navigation app. It is at least as good as the BMW navigation but the phone has a small screen and is not well placed.

The map feature in the BMW iRemote app (on the phone) is a step in the right direction. The interface is based on Google maps but has been supplemented by layers for

  • range (the map shows how far you can drive with the remaining electricity)
  • chargers
  • favorites
  • destinations (previously entered – even those entered in the car)

In the search field, you can google anything, such as Ikea or wherever you are heading. A clever feature is that the search function also suggests matching contacts, so if you have addresses to your friends, customers, etc in the phone it is easy to get directions.

SendToCarSearch  SendToCarGo

Once a destination is selected, address and telephone number is shown. The most important button, however, is the one that sends the destination to your car. You can use iRemote before you get into the car, or while in the car, and have the destination appear on the large display in the car. In the ConnectedDrive menu the destinations appear as messages that can be opened to begin navigation. This is a great solution!

What is missing is to have BMW iRemote registered to receive destinations via other apps. It is easier to use apps you already know and then easily send the destination directly from them than to go into a new interface developed by BMW that will never offer the same features to search etc. If iRemote could receive destinations from other apps, it would also be possible to send a location from an event in the calendar, an address in a text message, a location in a chat, etc.

From what I understand it should already now be possible to send destinations from Google Maps on your computer to your BMW. Sign into Google and go to www.google.com/maps/sendtocar to add the car. I believe that the same address used on BMW ConnectedDrive should be used as ‘Account’.

SendToCarSettings

When you click a destination in Google maps, you can then click on the ‘Send to device’ followed by ‘Send to car’.

SendToCarIKEA

The car added in sendtocar should appear and after pressing the ‘Send’ button the destination should be available in the i3 ConnectedDrive. When I try, however, I get a confirmation in Google maps that the destination has been sent, but it never shows up in the car. Has anyone succeeded with this?

SendToCarIKEA2

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

22 thoughts on “Send destination to the car

  1. I tried that too, no luck. I guess you are aware that you have that option in the bmw connected drive web site https://www.bmw-connecteddrive.at (in my case I use Austrian web site), there you have all the google map features, including the possibility to “drag” the route around until you are happy with it, the best feature in my opinion…and from there you can “send to car” too, but it also does not work in my case. I’ve been told that I need additional service to be activated for that. I can however export the route to USB stick and import it in the car, so at least there is a workaround. BTW I also do not have the send to car icon in the iRemote app…

    1. Hi Zsolt,
      Unfortunately the Swedish version does not have seem to have these features. I can see a map with my car and range curves for eco and eco pro but I am not able to google destinations nor send any to the car. Or am I missing something? My connected drive has three menu items 1) Status, 2) eServices, 3) Settings. Under 2) eServices there are submenus 2a) Mobility, 2b) Start times, 2c) Efficiency. I find the map under 2a) Mobility – you also?

      1. Hello,
        Sorry for the confusion, in fact it is not under connected drive page, instead you have to go to https://www.bmw-routes.com I use the same login as for connected drive page, there you can do what I mentioned, go under “Eigene Route Planen”, I guess it is possible to switch the language but I’m fine with German, make me practice it 🙂
        Let me know how it went…

        1. Hi,

          OK – this page was new to me. I can make a route and send it to the car. It says “Ihre Route wurde erfolgreich gespeichert und an Ihr Fahrzeug übertragen” but I cannot find anything in the car. The web page says that I am logged in and states my name so obviously it has connected successfully. Just need to see it in the car…

          1. Yes, the Übertragung does not work, I get the same, as I said initially, I’ve been told that I miss some service for that to work..but you can export it to USB stick, it saves a zip file and then you can import it by plugging in the usb key and then use some menu, I cannot recall now which one.
            I had problem with that too, but managed to make it work…see if you can figure it out, if not, I will find the details and let you know how exactly it goes

  2. Would also like to have the abilty to interact from my phones google maps to the i3 or to learn how to send coordinates from my own map to the i3 Navigation system.

    Can it be done via “bluetooth”?

    1. Hi Lars,
      Google maps supports sharing locations through bluetooth but it does not recognize the i3. I just tried. Obviously it is paired with the i3 bluetooth but I would think it has not registered to receive these kind of messages. Shame.

  3. It works fine to send destinations from PC-Google to my car. Think you need at least ConnectedDrive features to do this. It also used to work from my Android phone via the App “Send To Car”, but Google changed some feature and at the moment is does not work. BMW App is OK but very very slow 🙁

    1. Hi Mads,
      Interesting. Is it working for you right now? Reason I ask is becuase in the old Google maps I also had it working but with the new Google maps it is not. The app “Send To Car” relied on the old Google maps interface and this is apparently the reason why it is no longer working – pls read here.

      1. No, sorry, the Send to car app has not worked for some months now, and judging from your link it will probably never work again😢

  4. BMW customer centre called and said that ’Send to car’ will only work if the car is equipped with ‘6AK ConnectedDrive Services’ and I did not purchase this three year subscription for SEK 3400 (EUR 360). Had I purchased this module I would see ‘My Services’ in the ConnectedDrive portal and would be able to send a destination from Google maps to the car. It is currently not possible to purchase this alternative after a car has been delivered but they are looking into this.

    Meanwhile I can confirm that it is possible to send a destination from the map section of the iRemote app so I stick to this. Or more likely I just use navigation from Google maps in my phone…

    1. In some countries it is possible to purchase the connected services, including 6AK, in the Connected drive web-store. It is indeed possible to create e.g. a German connected-drive user profile, associate your car with it and add the required Connected Drive services.

  5. Hej!
    Har Connected Dive men jag får meddelandet att Maps inte kunde kommunicera med tillverkaren/bilen.
    Något tips?

    1. Hi Robban,
      I am not surprised that you cannot get the maps functionality to work even with Connected Drive. This whole area feels buggy and unstable. Contact customer service. Please let us know if you get it to work.

    1. Hi Anders,

      I think you need “Navigation system – BMW Business Advanced [606]” or “Navigation system – BMW Professional Multimedia [609]”. I have the latter and find the maps in the car menu and the maps ar shown on the big centre display. Do you have an i3? Do you have 606, 609, or none of these?

  6. I’m a new i3 owner and it took some poking around to get the Google Maps to Car thing working but it does. One caveat…in the desktop Google maps you don’t see a send to car option, just a send to phone (at least on an iMac). When you choose Send to Phone, the submenu that appears includes Send to Car (if you’ve registered your car with Google Maps). It works in both my i3 and my wife’s 2015 X3 purchased last year.

  7. Hej, jag försöker röststyra navigationen utan att lyckas. Den säger att jag måste aktivera navin först. Är det någon som vet hu man gör det?
    Vänligen
    Josef

    1. Hi Josef,
      I believe you need to have “Enhanced Bluetooth telephone preparation with USB audio interface and Voice Control (6NS)” to use Voice Control and I do not have it. At least nothing happens when I press the voice control button. However, it is possible to long press (>2s) the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Google Voice / Siri on your paired phone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *