Out of date, not specific enough owner ‘s manual? BMW is working on a solution to this problem in the form of a personalized web-based owner’s manual. It will be specially created and matched to the customer’s specific vehicle. Notes like “only for versions with …” will no longer be included. When the customer configures a vehicle at the order stage, the personalised owner’s manual will be configured at that same time. This would not be possible with a printed manual and is the reason this manual would be web based.

Also, a customer-specific web page would allow customers to view specifics of their vehicle on a computer. Animations would be available to help explain technical concepts and certain operating instructions. Images and technical data such as engine information would be features of this web interface.

The operating instructions (normally found in the owner ‘s manual) can be continuously updated throughout the life of the vehicle, even when accessory equipment is added or modifications are made to the vehicle during servicing. So if vehicle accessories like a luggage rack, or vehicle software is updated, the manual is immediately updated too. Then, whenever the customer visits their web page, the information found there will be the correct information for the vehicle and will always be up-to-date.

Alongside the web-based version of the personalised owner’s manual, BMW is also working on a vehicle-integrated version, which would offer even greater personalization. This version would also make it possible to access the personalised web information quickly and at any time (we hope not when driving!) while in the vehicle.

This information along with the video of ConnectedDrive shows us a glimpse into the future of car to internet concepts. The most technology laden car tends to be the 7 series so the in-car version of this owner ‘s manual may be rolled out in some form with the release of the next generation. The internet based site may be poking its head out sooner than you think.