SKILLS ON WHEELS
BMW iS INTEGRATING ALEXA INTO ITS CARS IN 2018
Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant will be your cockpit companion in future BMWs: The automaker will offer Alexa in select cars starting in 2018, Amazon announced today.
The vehicle integration will begin around the middle of 2018, the companies revealed, and will provide access to Alexa skills and voice-based capabilities right from the infotainment system. BMW also previously teamed up with Amazon to release Alexa skills for the BMW Connected app, that let vehicle owners do things like check how much fuel there is in their cars from their Echo devices at home.
The integration uses microphones embedded into the car, the company said. Alexa visual content will also be displayed on the head unit inside the vehicle. “It’s a complete, comprehensive set of internet capabilities that is available inside your vehicle,” a BMW executive said at an Amazon event today in Seattle.
“Voice control first featured in BMW Group cars many years ago, and we are now enhancing its functionality by adding a digital ecosystem, which 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 Digital Services and Business Models at the BMW Group.
BMW has also confirmed that its eagerly awaited 8 Series – their new range-topping coupe – will go in to production at BMW’s Dingolfing in Germany in 2018. BMW will launch with the 8-series coupe and followed by the 8-series convertible in 2019. And as expected, the M8 will be unleashed as well.