BMW EV won’t install OTA software update if it’s parked on a slope

facepalm: Internet-connected cars are becoming more commonplace, providing owners with convenience that would otherwise not be possible to enjoy on the road. They also come with headaches, as one BMW owner recently discovered.

Claire Eliza recently tweeted that she was unable to perform a remote software update on her BMW i4 because the road was too steep to begin the installation process, according to an on-screen notification. The infotainment system recommended that the car be parked on a level surface before trying again.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to manually override this feature, for example if you’ve used wheel chocks to prevent accidental rollback.

This was announced by a representative of BMW. Drive unit that the i4 has all sorts of sensors so it can understand its orientation, which lets it know when it’s on a slope. “This is probably a one-size-fits-all, worst-case safety measure, no matter how unlikely the scenario is, to try and prevent any chance of vehicle movement if programming is interrupted or goes wrong,” the spokesperson added.

BMW has also noted the following prerequisites that must be met in order to complete the vehicle upgrade:

  • The vehicle must be participating in an active remote software update campaign.
  • You must complete the download, which is fully automatic when connected to the Internet via cellular or the BMW Connected app.
  • It must have sufficient battery level
  • The car must not be parked on a slope
  • Transmission must be in park
  • The engine, if any, must be turned off.

To be fair, similar requirements for a secure software update environment probably exist for other connected electric vehicles. However, it does sound a bit awkward, especially if you live or regularly park on a hill.

It also raises a legitimate question that many no doubt face: Are the new vehicles too advanced for their own good? By that I mean, do the benefits of an Internet connection for your car outweigh the inconvenience caused by such situations? Were vehicles better before they became mobile computers that could be hacked or hacked?

Have you encountered similar restrictions when trying to install an OTA update in your car?

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