Amazon Alexa comes to BMW and Mini

Voice assistant to be ‘seamlessly’ integrated into all mid-2018 models

BMW Amazon AlexaAmazon 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.

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.”

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Richard Aucock
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.


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