Amazon Alexa is to be integrated into all new BMW and Mini models from 2018 – and users won’t even need to hook up their smartphone in order to use it.
Because all new BMWs and Minis come with a built-in SIM card, the firm is able to fully integrate Alexa and deploy it en masse; it means everything that Alexa users do from Amazon Echo devices, they’ll soon be able to do in their car too.
It’s presumably as easy as saying, “Alexa…”
The move is a development of the BMW Connected Alexa ‘skill’, that’s been offered for around a year: it allows BMW and Mini owners to ‘ask’ Alexa questions such as the state of charge in their electric vehicle, or how much fuel is in their diesel or petrol.
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Full integration will bring the home-based convenience of Alexa into the car, says BMW. Adding a digital ecosystem “will open up all sorts of new possibilities that customers can access quickly, easily and safely from their car,” said Dieter May, senior vice president of digital services and business models at BMW.
Examples include asking Alexa which movies are on at the local cinema (and what times they’re shown), listening to playlists or checking the weather at their destination. Naturally, as it’s an Amazon product, online orders can be made while driving.
“We are excited to work with BMW to bring the Alexa experience to their drivers,” said Ned Curic, vice president, Alexa Automotive. “Using your voice to enjoy content and interact with Alexa makes a great driving experience even better.”