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BMWs to feature in-car intelligent personal assistant

The BMW Group is introducing the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant—a new proprietary in-car AI assistant intended to enhance the BMW driving experience.


The always on-call technology platform is an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW” and has the ability to serve the driver in a range of ways from controlling vehicle settings, navigation and entertainment systems to explaining vehicle functions and even conducting a conversation.

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will debut in 2019 and mark the start of a new era in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information through voice control.

In the future, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will be at the driver’s beck and call outside their vehicle too, whether it’s at home with the help of a smart speaker or while out and about via a smartphone. It will also be compatible with other digital voice assistants, thereby providing a link to other rapidly growing ecosystems.

Thanks to the link-up with BMW’s Open Mobility Cloud and the use of artificial intelligence, the personal assistant’s capabilities will be consistently enhanced and grow with the user over time. Regular updates will keep expanding the range of functions and skills available.

BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant combines with the new BMW Operating System 7.0 to create a brand new, digital form of interaction with your BMW that redefines the whole driving experience.

—Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Products BMW Group

BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant learns routines and habits so that it can apply them in the appropriate context. It helps the driver, learns their preferences and is familiar with their preferred vehicle settings. For example: seat heating preferences or frequent destinations (“Take me home”).

One unique feature compared to other digital assistants of this type is that drivers can name the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (for example, “Charlie” or “Joy”) to assign even more individual character and personality. Not only does it await the driver’s every command, it’s always there to assist them too or even provide casual conversation (“Hey BMW, what’s the meaning of life?”).

It 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. Whereas the current version is already able to memorize the preferred settings, ongoing improvement of the technology will enable it to learn more and more preferences and favorite settings. The assistant will improve with every command given, every question asked and every setting made. Forming the basis for all of this will be the portable, digital customer profile—the BMW ID—which links the car to the customer and their digital world.

The arrival of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant also means there is always a real BMW pro on board. It is able to explain all sorts of different functions (“How do the Automatic Highbeams work?”), provide current status information (“Is the oil level okay?”) and help answer questions (“What warning messages do I have?”).

It knows the driver’s favorite settings and can even activate a combination of them for their greater well-being. For instance, “Hey BMW, I feel tired” triggers a vitality program that adjusts the lighting mood, music and temperature, among other things, in order to make the driver feel more awake. In the future, the assistant will also be able to give fuel-saving driving tips or think ahead and warn drivers as necessary. It could alert the driver to problems (“The tire pressure is low”), for example, remind the driver of service appointments or even arrange an appointment with a BMW service center.

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant can be particularly useful during everyday driving (“Hey BMW, look for the nearest gas station on our route”). To make navigation easier than ever, drivers can also allow it to access their appointments calendar and contacts, where it will remind the driver when it is time to leave for an appointment, provide information on traffic jams along the route and find somewhere to park at the journey’s destination.

The Intelligent Personal Assistant from BMW is an entertainment expert too. This means it can instantly identify the song currently playing on the radio or search the stations for the desired type of music (“Play classical music, please”).

The Intelligent Personal Assistant will become available in a basic version in 23 languages and markets in March 2019. In the US, Germany, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Japan and (beginning in May 2019) China, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will feature more natural voice control along with further intelligent functions such as Point of Interest Search, Weather and Music, for example. The personal assistant will be offered for models featuring the new BMW iDrive 7.0 and as part of the Live Cockpit Professional.



I don't have a lot of faith in car manufacturers producing proprietary A1.

I think that they will be overwhelmed by the big boys, and make expensive niche products.

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