The BMW Group is set to revolutionise driving pleasure with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. From March 2019, BMW drivers and passengers will be joined by an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. This will mark the start of a new era for the BMW Group in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information simply by speaking.

The personal assistant will also be able to assist the driver outside their vehicle, whether it’s at home with the help of a smart speaker or out and about via smartphone. What's more, he will be compatible with other digital voice assistants beyond Amazon Alexa, too, providing a link to other rapidly growing ecosystems. The personal assistant’s capabilities are developing all the time courtesy of BMW’s Open Mobility Cloud and the use of artificial intelligence. The range of functions and skills available will be constantly expanded as part of regular updates, which can be carried out seamlessly on a smartphone and in-car by Remote Software Upgrade.

BMWs Acquire a Digital Personality

BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant learns routines and habits, and is subsequently able to apply them in the appropriate context. He helps the driver, learns their preferences and is familiar with their favoured settings – e.g. for the seat heating or the places they drive to frequently using the navigation system. One unique feature over other digital assistants is that drivers can give him a name (for example, “Charlie” or “Joy”) to lend him even greater individuality and personality. Not only does the Intelligent Personal Assistant await the driver’s every command, he is always there to assist them and even provide casual conversation. He is familiar with the vehicle’s functions and is able to operate them as required. Saying “Hey BMW, I’m cold” will prompt the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to adjust the temperature inside the car accordingly. The assistant will benefit from constant technical upgrades and be able to learn more and more preferences and favoured settings. Forming the basis for all of this will be the portable, digital customer profile – the BMW ID. This profile links the car to the customer and their digital world.

The assistant takes further strides forward with every command given, every question asked and every setting made.

The Perfect Co-Driver

The Intelligent Personal Assistant is, in short, the ideal co-driver and comes in very useful during everyday driving (“Hey BMW, look for the nearest fuel station on our route”). To make navigation particularly easy, drivers can give him access to their calendar and contacts, which will enable him to find parking spaces at the destination, provide information on traffic jams along the route and remind the driver when they need to set off. He also learns destinations the customer drives to frequently.

The assistant’s integration with Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business transforms the BMW into a mobile office, and allows him to join teleconferences at the driver’s request and read out emails.

But BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant is an entertainment expert, too. So he can instantly identify the song currently playing on the radio and search stations for the desired type of music (“Play classical music please”).

Coming to BMW cars from March 2019.