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Future BMW vehicles will come with an integrated Samsung tablet

This year’s CES has seen a lot of attention focused on connected cars and how technology will shape the vehicles of the near-future. BMW is one of the automakers that’s leading the charge in this regard, and it’s doing so with some help from Samsung. Many of the vehicles that we’ll be seeing from BMW in the next couple of years will come with an integrated Samsung tablet that will help power the in-car infotainment systems. 

At CES this week, BMW showed off a couple near-future technologies that’ll be available on cars in the next few years. The first doesn’t really sound futuristic at all — it’s just a generic Samsung tablet, but the magic is in how tightly BMW’s managed to integrate it with the car’s systems. The “Touch Command” system includes the small Android tablet and a dock in the rear seat, allowing rear passengers to change climate settings, switch radio stations, adjust their seats and more — in other words, it’s basically a portable iDrive controller for when you’re getting chauffeured around. The most interesting thing about it is that the tablet is customized by Samsung for BMW: pressing the home button doesn’t kick you out to the home screen on a normal Android device, it returns you to Touch Command’s main screen. If you want to use the tablet simply as an Android tablet — which you can do — you need to choose the “Apps” option inside Touch Command to get kicked out to a launcher. BMW says it hasn’t settled on a tablet model or size yet for when Touch Command reaches production, but it’ll take a year or two anyway.

 

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