BMW announced that it will launch its first vehicle with Amazon Alexa-based new-generation voice assistant within two years. The new BMW voice assistant will work in cooperation with Alexa and allow customers to check the weather report, manage their smart home remotely and control music while keeping their eyes on road. Additionally, both BMW voice assistant and Alexa can be used separately or together.
In spite of its collaboration with BMW Group, Amazon also launched a few new products at its hardware event. One of the most interesting products in the list was its latest e-reader, the Kindle Scribe. What makes Scribe different from previous Kindle models is its ability to not only display books but also allow users to take notes.
The BMW voice assistant was first introduced in 2018 and according to the German carmaker has become an “increasingly important part of BMW iDrive”.
“The Alexa technology will enable an even more natural dialogue between driver and vehicle, so drivers can stay focused on the road,” said BMW Group senior vice-president connected company and development technical operations.
Amazon senior vice-president of devices and services Dave Limp added that “this cooperation with BMW is a great example of what Alexa Custom Assistant was designed for — to make it faster and easier for companies to develop custom intelligent assistants for virtually any device, without the cost and complexity of building from the ground up.”
As part of Amazon’s Alexa custom assistant service, other companies are licensed to build their own assistants using Alexa’s underlying technology. There is an Amazon plug-in device, called Echo Auto, that plugs into cars, but not completely glitch free. A reviewer found it difficult to use for location-based queries and had connectivity issues with whatever phone it was tethered to.
The BMW Group and Amazon share the strong commitment to maintaining customers’ trust and protecting their privacy, including giving them control over their data.