BMW provides subscription service for speed-trap alerts

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BMW is offering an early-warning system that alerts drivers to the use of speed detection devices and traffic speed and red-light cameras on their route.

The new factory feature is an automated version of a similar service offered by the Google-owned Waze navigation app, which relies on drivers to self-report speed traps and the presence of other traffic-enforcement measures.

But unlike Waze’s crowd-sourced approach, BMW’s Traffic Camera Information service relies on a nationwide network of public fixed and mobile traffic camera locations, coupled with data from radar and laser detectors, to alert drivers in real time through their infotainment display.

That service, powered by Here Technologies and Cedar Electronics, is part of BMW’s ConnectedDrive suite, which includes advanced real-time traffic information, a concierge service and online speech processing technology.

BMW includes the traffic camera information service as a three-month trial on certain 2021 model year vehicles. After that period, owners must decide whether to continue it at a cost of $25 for 15 months.

Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst for Guidehouse Insights who has been tracking such emerging technologies, described the service as an “insurance policy” against speeding tickets.

“For decades, people have used radar detectors for the same purpose,” Abuelsamid said. “You’re spending a little bit of money to get that peace of mind, knowing that you’re going to get some advanced warning.”

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Saurabh Shukla

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