driving with bmw connected

Only flying is better - Driving with BMW Connected+

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Hello my Aviator, I recently had the great chance to drive the new BMW 5 series for some weeks. The new BMW 5 series with the Connected+ feature is the perfect travel buddy. In this blog post, I share my experiences driving the BMW and I explain to you how Connected+ can help you to run a busy day more smoothly.  

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The new BMW 5series

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Welcome on board! Your PilotPatrick

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Only flying is better - driving the new BMW 5 series

My dad used to drive all kinds of BMW 5 series models and I could not wait until turning 18 to be able to drive his BMW. In fact, I was even able to drive the car already at 17, because I made a drivers license during my high school year in the United States. It was fun to be the first one of all my friends to drive a car. But this is already 13 years ago and BMW has upgraded its model to perfection. I really like the new design because it is sportive and elegant at the same time. The bright interior with cream leather and the set up of the cockpit looks really high-class.

But now I want you to make you familiar with a brand new feature: BMW's ConnectedDrive and Connected+. This digital service is there to support you and to run your day more smoothly. So a busy day becomes a little less busy. I tested all kind of features and I was amazed by its capabilities.

 

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Cockpit with multiple screens

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But what is Connected+?

BMW Connected+ is the digital “bridge” between your smartphone and your car. With Connected+, you can create in-car personalization and smartphone integration on the Control Display. I noticed right away that the handling in the car is much more intuitive and a lot easier. My car was also equipped with gesture control. This way I could set up my car without taking off my eyes from the street. To turn up the volume you just have to rotate your finger clockwise in front of the screen.

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Send route to car feature

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Route is on board when entering the car

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Connectivity

BMW connects to mobile devices and Home-enabled devices for a seamless experience.

Send my route to car: via the Connected+ app you can set up the onboard navigation. After entering the car, the route is already in the system and can be started by a click. Once you are in the car there is no need to set up the navigation. The BMW calculates intelligent routes and recognizes fuel consumption and traffic factors to provide real-time updates. This feature does not only save time but also fuel as well.

Share live trip status: most of the time I need to update my friends and family on my arrival time for an important gathering. With the feature “Share live trip status” you can inform selected contacts about your live coordinates and your exact arrival time. This is all done automatically and you can fully concentrate to arrive safely. I wish I had this feature when flying.

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Remote services

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Efficiency

Concierge Service: Seek assistance from a built-in concierge service. I personally talked to the service while driving. They can help you find an address, which they can send to your dashboard screen right away and they can even make a restaurant reservation for you.

Remote services: turn your mobile phone into a car key via the Connected+ app. This is super handy if you cannot find your key right away or if you have problems finding the car. You just turn on the headlights and stoplights or locate it with your app.

 

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Connected+ with Concierge service

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Ease of Use

In car experience: Main dashboard navigation with multifunctional screen capabilities for entertainment and directions with a simple touch or even only with a gesture. I really enjoyed that the speedometer and all other gauges around were displayed on a screen. I could personalize the information I wanted to have to display. The head-up display is a great tool. It shows you e.g. directions, which makes it feel like it is flying in front of the car.

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personalizing the apps on the main dashboard screen

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All in all, I must admit that the cockpit of the BMW 5 series is more advanced than my Airbus cockpit. But one feature is still missing: the option to fly!

What is your favorite BMW model?

Please comment below with your answer and subscribe to my newsletter with your email below!

Happy landings and safe driving!

Your Pilot Patrick

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roadtrip from san francisco to Los Angeles

My road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles

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Last time in California was during my exchange year as a high school student in 2004. My parents visited me from Germany and we made a big road trip from Las Vegas via San Francisco to Los Angeles. With the age of sixteen, it was a great adventure. After finishing my flight school in Germany I always wanted to go back to do that road trip again. Now thirteen years later I finally managed to drive down from San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1. Read about my exciting drive along on of the most beautiful routes in the US and learn from my recommendations.

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Pacific coastline of Malibu

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Planning of my road trip

Before booking my flight connections I wanted to make sure that I do not have to drive back and forth. So I booked a flight into San Francisco (read about my flight here) and a connection out of Los Angeles. I am using Sixt rental cars a lot in Germany so I got one in California as.

I can really recommend booking with them. Especially their premium convertibles are fantastic for a road trip. In case you spend some days in San Francisco you can pick it up at Fishermans wharf and start your road trip from there. I drove a BMW 6 series convertible of Sixt and the trunk fitted easily to big suitcases even with the top down.If you drive highway one I recommend to drive it southbound this way you have the ocean always to your right. UUnfortunatelyI received some bad news bevor starting my drive down to Los Angeles.

If you take highway one I recommend to drive it southbound this way you have the ocean always to your right. UnfortunatelyI received some bad news bevor starting my drive down to Los Angeles.

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BMW 6 Series rental car of Sixt

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Route

The idea was to drive along highway one all the way to Los Angeles. This is one of the most scenic roads in the United States. Unfortunately, I had to find out that a road closure around to Big Sur forced me to drive a big detour away from the coastline. Due to heavy rain at the beginning of the year, a bridge was flooded and destroyed. I heard about this before but I figured it will be fixed when arriving in May. I was really disappointed when I found out that the bridge is still blocked. The road between Monterey and Cambria is the most beautiful part.

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Road trip route from San Francisco to Los Angeles

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Fantastic views from Point Dume in Malibu

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Stops

Along the way, I did several stops for a break and to overnight. Best is to drive without pressure and to stop whenever you see a beautiful spot. In my opinion, I forced myself a little bit to get to LA fast. At the end, I only did two overnights along the route.

Day 1

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz was my first stop after San Francisco. I had a healthy lunch at Cafe Gratitude. To find vegan and vegetarian restaurants and cafés near me I use the app called "Happy Cow". After a delicious meal, my happy mood was ruined by a parking ticket of 38 USD because I the meter was expired by five minutes. After a short walk on Santa Cruz pier, which gives you have a nice view of the shoreline I hit the road again.

Monterey

The city of Monterey is situated in a beautiful bay area. My plan was to overnight there, but since I booked my rooms spontaneously the rates were really high that night. That is why I already continued my drive in the evening. Make sure you stop at the Lover's point park. The best and cheapest food during my whole trip I had in Julia's Vegetarian Restaurant close to Monterey.

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Lovers point park in Monterey

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Carmel-by-the-Sea

This time I did not stop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is a small beach city. But I remember from my road trip thirteen years ago that is worth visiting. It is known for its fairytale cottages and village-like center. Do the seventeen-mile drive from Monterey Peninsula to Pebble Beach. It is a stunning stretch of roadway along the Pacific coastline.

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Delicious food at Julia's Vegetarian Restaurant

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Cambria

From Monterey, I had to take the US101 to drive further south due to the blockage of Highway 1. Online I found a really nice boutique hotel in Cambria called El Colibri. It was the hotel with the best quality price ratio during my entire vacation. My cozy room featured a hot tub and a fireplace.

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Hotel El Colibri in Cambria

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Seals at the beach close to Cambria

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Day 2

Next day it was a little bit chilly and cloudy. So I did an excursion to Hearst Castle. This private property situated on top of a hill. The property is spectacular and is a must see once the Neptune Pool is fully repaired again. Not far from Hearse Castle you can watch seals from a parking spot.

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Main building of the Hearst Castle

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Hearst Castle indoor pool / Outfit by Michalsky

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Santa Barbara

My second overnight I spend in Santa Barabara the "American Riviera". It is an easy going city and the atmosphere is quite relaxed. Hotel prices are over the top. I booked a room last minute via the app "hotel tonight" so I saved a little. The beach is with hundreds of palm trees is really beautiful. After a quick breakfast, I started off for my last part of my drive to Los Angeles.

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Beach of Santa Barbara

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Day 3

Malibu

Only 30 Minutes from Santa Monica (LA) lies the famous city of Malibu. You definitely need to know where to go otherwise you drive through and realize later that you have missed Malibu. The prices for food and drinks are insane. I had a healthy green smoothie and I paid 14€ for it. The best view you get from Point Dumes State Park.

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Point Dume State Beach

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Driving along the famous beach houses I found a spot where I could access the beach and have a stroll. While searching for Charly Sheen's house, I noticed that most houses look abandoned. But as I found out later people usually come here only for the weekend.

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Searching for Charlie Harper's house in Malibu ;)

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Taking a stroll along the famous houses in Malibu

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Resume

It was definitely the right decision to drive down to Los Angeles instead of flying. Of course, I was disappointed that I had to drive a big detour and I hope they will fix the road soon since hotels and other touristic attractions struggle. In My opinion, I rushed a little bit to get to Los Angeles. I suggest you spend three nights on the road and get a convertible to enjoy the beautiful landscape, even more, when driving.

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Where would you like to do a road trip?

Your Pilot Patrick

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