Drivers will soon be able to tell Amazon Alexa to turn on their central heating at home while they’re still on the motorway.
Amazon Alexa is coming to all new BMW and MINI models from 2018. The car manufacturer is to integrate the AI-powered intelligent assistant into vehicles in the US, UK and Germany, starting next year.
The built-in assistant will enable drivers to get directions, make phone calls, play music and Audible content, control their smart home, and check the news – all without needing to download a separate app.
Drivers should also be able to access tens of thousands of Alexa features from third-party developers like Starbucks, NPR, and TED Talks, among others. For many requests, Alexa will provide voice responses paired with visual cards on the dashboards of BMWs and MINIs, such as to-do lists or weather forecasts.
In-car Amazon Alexa
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.
Ned Curic, vice president of Alexa Automotive at Amazon, said that connecting the human voice to technology was 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,” he said.
Dieter May, senior vice president of Digital Services and Business Models at BMW Group, said that 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.”