"connected drive is a service from BMW that works with the integrated GPS and sim card of the car. It knows where you are and BMW recommends places of interest or sends assistance if you get in trouble."
In the USA this is BMW assist, besides getting roadside assistance you get a bunch of other features including being able to send Google maps to your car (this may be the Google reference you are seeing). I think the sim being referred to is your phone sim. My car "phoned home" the other day to tell the dealer (who then called me) that it needed a normal oil change. The real time traffic info also works in the USA, very useful during commute time.
In connection with the BMW Navigation system plus the BMW preparation for Bluetooth mobile phone with integrated SIM card, BMW Assist brings you a range of useful features.
The emergency call feature, for example, automatically transmits your vehicle's status and position data directly to the BMW Service headquarters and makes a telephone connection. The system sends an automatic signal to BMW Service immediately if the crash sensors in the airbags are activated.
In the event of a breakdown, BMW Assist activates the BMW breakdown service, connecting to Mobile Service and transmitting the relevant vehicle data. Your BMW Service partner will be by your side as quickly as possible, helping you get back onto the road.
Should you be driving on the German Autobahn network, BMW Assist also provides reliable and up-to-the-minute traffic information, thanks to a system of more than 4,000 sensors positioned along the motorways, that measure traffic congestion and transmit the results in real time.