Saying ‘Hey BMW’ will let drivers change the temperature, find routes, or get information about their car. Integration with Alexa and other voice assistants could be on the horizon, too.
BMW owners will soon be able to use voice commands to turn on lights or air conditioning, change the radio, and more.
Starting in March 2019, BMW’s proprietary voice assistant will come to the new BMW X5, Z4, and 8 Series models fitted with BMW Operating System 7.0. Instead of opting for Google Assistant, Siri, or Amazon Alexa, BMW created its own assistant, which is activated by the phrase “Hey BMW.”
That said, BMW has hinted that its assistant will be compatible with other digital assistants like Alexa, and could intergrate with other hardware “whether it’s at home with…a smart speaker or out and about via smartphone.”
BMW’s system does beat the better-known voice assistants in one area: you can set a dedicated name for it (the examples given are “Charlie” or “Joy”) for greater individuality.
The car maker’s Intelligent Personal Assistant taps into BMW’s Open Mobility Cloud and artificial intelligence to learn routines and habits, so you can simply say “Take me home.” Similarly, saying “I’m cold” will drop the temperature.
It’s also there to give status information, explain different BMW functions, or check your messages, as well as alerting the driver to problems like low tire pressure.
More features are yet to come, as apparently the range of functions and skills available will be “constantly expanded,” carried out via a smartphone or in-car by a remote software upgrade.
BMW isn’t the first car manufacturer to go forward with its own voice assistant. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (“Hey, Mercedes”) can change the temperature or search for nearby restaurants, among other things. It is also already compatible with Amazon and Google.