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Category: BMW iDrive Coding

How to update and use MINI Cooper navigation?

Paul Smith

Sep 30, 2021

Gone are the days when regular oil changes and the occasional set of new tires was all it took to keep your vehicle in full working order. For a modern MINI with the MINI Connected navigation system, there's a bit more to it.

Whether performing a MINI Connected software update or downloading the latest MINI sat nav update, taking care of your MINI Cooper navigation is crucial if you want to enjoy your vehicle to the fullest.

In fact, it's recommended to install the latest MINI navigation pack annually, so you can see it as part of the routine maintenance of your vehicle.

How to update and use MINI Cooper navigation?

Why update your MINI navigation maps for 2022?

One reason is that roads are always changing -- particularly if you live in an area that's seeing a lot of urban development. It's not just new roads being built or old ones being closed or rerouted; some might be converted from a two-way street to a one-way street, or had the speed limit cut.

Depending on your area, as much as 40% of the road network can change in just a single year.

Obviously, nobody wants their MINI Cooper nav to send them down a street that was pedestrianized years ago, or leave you crawling through traffic in an unfamiliar town instead of taking the brand new bypass. MINI adds thousands of miles of roads to each MINI Cooper navigation update, so keeping up with the latest data is going to mean your sat nav works much better.

There's more than just roads, though. MINI also adds new points of interest to their maps each year, including restaurants, gas stations and attractions. Great if you're in an unfamiliar area and want to stop off for a bite to eat. And as more people move to electric vehicles like the MINI Cooper SE, the maps will also include nearby EV charging stations.

How to find the MINI map version?

If you aren't sure whether your map needs updating, you can easily check through the MINI Connected system. Just go to the map view, open the navigation settings menu and look for the version information. You'll see the map region, version and date, for example "NORTH AMERICA EVO 2020-2".

If the map is more than a year old, it's probably time to update.

It's also important to pay attention to the map version. Different MINI Cooper OEM navigation systems need different maps -- what works in one vehicle might not work in another.

If you've imported your MINI from another part of the world, you might notice the map region also needs changing when you install the latest maps. In many cases, it's a simple process, but it depends on your MINI Connected system, as well as the regions you're changing to and from. Get in touch with us and we'll help you figure out what you need.

How often are MINI map updates released?

MINI usually releases anywhere from 1 to 4 new map versions per year. But again, it all depends on your vehicle, as well as the region you're living in.

Newer MINIs in strong MINI markets like North America or Europe are likely to get a few updates a year. But if your MINI is a little older, and/or you live in a part of the world with less coverage, you're probably going to get updates more rarely.

When shopping at BimmerTech (whether for MINI or BMW map updates), we always provide the latest available maps for your MINI Connected version and region. You'll see the version during purchase, so you'll know how big a jump you're making from your current map version.

We also offer a choice between a one-time update, or a multiple-use update, to keep you covered for a subsequent map update, too. As the availability of new maps varies so much by vehicle and region, keep in mind the next update is NOT sent automatically; you're free to request your next update whenever you need it. Want to skip the year's second or third release, and hold out for next year's instead? No problem.

How to update navigation in MINI Cooper

In the latest MINIs, all map data is stored on an internal hard drive, and can be updated by manually saving the new map data to your MINI Connected system.

The process is simple, and requires no MINI Cooper coding or programming. The map data is loaded to a USB stick, which should be plugged into your MINI's USB port. The MINI Connected system will automatically detect there's a new map available to install. You'll be asked to enter a unique FSC activation code to begin installation -- at BimmerTech, we provide both the map data and the required activation code. As standard, we send a USB stick with the data already loaded, but get in touch with our sales team if you need a quick digital delivery.

With so much data, the MINI map update might take a while to upload to your vehicle, but it depends on your car and map version.

MINI navigation top features

After you update MINI Connected, you get much more than just a map of roads. To find out how to use navigation on MINI Cooper to its full potential, you need to get to grips with its extra features.

Real-Time Traffic information

What is RTTI (real-time traffic information)? The clue is in the name: traffic information, delivered to your vehicle in real time.

It's something we're all used to from Google Maps or Waze, which shows where traffic is light, and where there are jams you're going to want to avoid. For North American MINIs with the NBT Evo ID5/6 head unit, it's even possible to activate real-time traffic information for MINI with simple coding via USB.

With the latest map data and real-time traffic information, you can be sure you'll always reach your destination in the quickest possible time.

Speed Limit information

...but quick shouldn't mean breaking the speed limit ;)

Having accurate speed limit information, on demand, is crucial if you want to avoid unwanted tickets or accidents. And with our speed limit information retrofit for MINI Cooper, it couldn't be easier.

The module takes the speed limit information from your MINI Cooper navigation system, and shows it right on the dashboard. So even when you're on a long drive, you'll always know how hard you can go on the gas pedal.

With the speed limit info coming from your MINI navigation maps, it's another reason to update MINI Connected regularly. You don't want to be caught out by a recent road reclassification.

MINI interactive Map (points of interest)

Your map also makes it easy to find local attractions and places to eat. Need to stop off in Walmart for refreshments on a long drive? Just ask the Connected system for directions to the nearest store.

It's also a great option if you don't know the exact address of your destination. With the navigation screen open, all it takes is opening the interactive map view on the side menu, moving to the area you're interested in with the center controller, and you'll be able to see nearby points of interest.

Exactly which establishments you see is, of course, going to depend on your map version, so having the latest to hand means you won't have problems finding your way to a new store.

Charging stations maps (for EV)

For all-electric vehicles like the MINI Cooper SE, you're also going to want a quick and easy way to find the nearest public charging station, so you know where to top up your car as you head off to grab some groceries.

The latest maps include information about public charging locations, so finding one is just as easy as finding a gas station, whether you're using the dashboard navigation or your MINI or BMW app. Whatever juice your MINI is running on, the latest maps make sure you'll never run out of steam on a long drive.

Green driving assistant

For a little extra help, you can also turn to the Green Driving Assistant. When planning your route through your MINI Electric's navigation system, Green Driving Assistant will let you know if your vehicle has the charge required to reach your destination.

If not, it will help you reroute to an alternative option that will use up less battery charge, or help you plan a route that takes in a stop at a charging station along the way. With information about each charging station, it couldn't be easier to plan a quick, convenient and reliable route.

Plan your trip in the MINI app

Being away from your MINI doesn't have to mean being away from its navigation system. With the MINI App for iOS and Android, it's easy to link your phone to your vehicle. You'll then be able to check your vehicle's status, lock it remotely and book a service appointment, all remotely.

To make navigation easier, it's also easy to plan a trip in the app, and see the full route and anticipated time. When you're happy, the 'Send to my MINI' button does exactly what it says it will, setting the route up on your MINI Connected system, ready to start turn-by-turn navigation as soon as you set off.

Summary

For something as simple as plugging a USB stick into your MINI, updating your MINI navigation maps has a lot of benefits. As well as helping you get from A to B, you'll also find places to stop off for a snack or fill up your car, as well as avoiding speeding fines when local speed limits change.

When you get a MINI Cooper navigation update from BimmerTech, you get everything you need to enjoy the latest and greatest MINI Connected has to offer -- the latest map data preloaded to a USB stick, and a genuine FSC activation code. What could be simpler than that?

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