Beginning in March 2019, BMW drivers and passengers will be able to interact with their car with the simple phrase “Hey BMW”.
This is more than just simple voice command. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant blends voice recognition with artificial intelligence, letting drivers control and configure their cars by speaking. From simple commands, to more complex questions, the Munich firm says its digital concierge should be able to handle it all.
The system will even be able to operate away from the car, linking to smartphones and smart speakers at home. Think of it as Siri or Alexa, but part of your new BMW.
“Hey BMW, take me home”
Although the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant won’t be able to do the driving for you, a simple phrase will set the navigation system for the quickest route home. Using artificial intelligence, the system learns frequent destinations along with other habits and preferences.
Telling the Personal Assistant “I’m cold” will see the climate control adjusted automatically. Letting the assistant know that you feel tired would trigger even more changes, changing the mood lighting and sound system to help keep the driver awake. Hopefully a route to the nearest coffee shop is also included.
Asking more questions and giving more commands helps the Personal Assistant learn, tailoring it further to the driver. BMW also states that further upgrades will bring improved functionality, with this just the beginning.
“Hey BMW, What’s that song?”
Forget having to try to guess the name of a song you’ve just heard on the radio. BMW’s Personal Assistant will be able to search instantly and find all the details you need. It can also respond to requests for certain genres, and won’t even pass judgement on your music tastes.
Business users are promised an array of connectivity with software such as Microsoft Office 365 and Skype. This will allow the Personal Assistant to plan the best routes between important meetings, and even find appropriate parking spaces when you get there.
Awkward breakdowns could also be prevented, with drivers able to ask what the oil level is at any given time, and also plan stops at the nearest fuel station. Reminders for servicing and maintenance appointments can also be programmed in to help even the most forgetful of executives.
“Hey BMW, what does it all mean?”
BMW drivers desperate to engage in ‘casual conversation’ with their car, including asking existential questions, only have to wait until March 2019.
A total of 23 markets and languages will get basic voice command functions from launch. However, the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, and other select countries will receive the enhanced system with more natural voice controls.
BMW’s latest Operating System 7.0 will be needed to use the Intelligent Personal Assistant, in combination with the Live Cockpit Professional option. Drivers of the new 8 Series coupe, X5 and Z4 will be able to take advantage of the Personal Assistant without a trip to a dealership, using BMW’s ‘over the air’ software upgrade function.
Those placing an order for a new 3 Series from November this year will also be able to specify the assistant function.