BMW is to integrated Amazon’s Alexa artificial intelligence into its in-car systems.
Amazon Alexa will be available in BMW and Mini vehicles starting in mid-2018.
Users can ask Alexa in-car to get directions, call a business, play music or Audible content, control your smart home, check the news, and so on – without downloading a separate app.
Customers will also have access to tens of thousands of Alexa skills from third-party developers like Starbucks, NPR, and TED Talks, among others, says Amazon.
For many requests, Alexa will provide voice responses paired with visual cards on BMW’s and Mini’s control display, such as to do lists or weather forecasts.
Ned Curic, vice president, Amazon Alexa automotive, says: “We are excited to work with BMW to bring the Alexa experience to their drivers.
“Voice is a big part of the future, especially in cars. Using your voice to enjoy content and interact with your car makes a great driving experience even better. We can’t wait for BMW customers to try this out.”
Dieter May, senior vice president digital services and business models at the BMW Group, says: “By making this step and integrating Alexa into our models from 2018, BMW and Mini will form a more intrinsic part of our customers’ digital lifestyles.
“Voice control first featured in BMW Group cars many years ago, and we are now enhancing its functionality by adding a digital ecosystem, which will open up all sorts of new possibilities that customers can access quickly, easily and safely from their car.”
This in-car experience builds on the BMW Connected Skill for Alexa that was introduced in 2016.
The Skill helps customers control their vehicle – including activating climate control, locking the doors, and more – from any Alexa-enabled device.
Amazon Alexa will be available in all 2018 model year BMW and Mini vehicles from mid-2018 in the US, UK, and Germany.