BMW launches in-car AI assistant with ability to hold a conversation

Judy Cobb
September 8, 2018

From March, new BMW X5, Z4 and 8 Series models fitted with the BMW Operating System 7.0 will be able to install the full version of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant by Remote Software Upgrade without having to visit a dealer.

The assistant will be able to learn routines and habits, applying them in the appropriate context to perform tasks like setting the heating.

BMW isn't the first vehicle manufacturer to go forward with its own voice assistant.

The assistant enables communication with the vehicle and, like other voice assistants, is activated with a phrase, in this case: "Hey, BMW". Saying "Hey BMW, I'm cold" will prompt the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to adjust the temperature inside the auto accordingly. These will go into the portable, digital customer profile, the BMW ID.

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The arrival of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant means there is always a real BMW pro on board.

Users can also ask the assistant about various aspects of their vehicle, such as how the automatic high beams work, if the oil level is sufficient or whether there are any current warnings. Users will also be able to say "Hey BMW, I feel tired" and this activate a "vitality program" which will adjust the lighting, audio system and climate control system to make the driver feel more awake. It could alert the driver to problems ("The tire pressure is low"), for example, remind the driver of service appointments or even arrange an appointment with a BMW service center. Drivers can also give it access to their calendars in order to receive updates about when they should leave for a scheduled appointment.

Of course, Alexa, Amazon's personal assistant, is available in several brands, including Ford, Toyota, Lexus and Hyundai. For in-car entertainment, it can identify songs, search stations for desired types of music and even engage in casual conversations. BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is expected to launch in 23 languages in March 2019 making it a dream vehicle with many smart features for smart devices.

In terms of availability, the system will only be available in select markets such as the USA, Germany, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Japan and China.

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