BMW Will Integrate Alexa Into Its Cars In 2018
The Amazon Hardware Show 2017 showcased a lot of tech that revolved around Alexa. There were new variants of the Echo, Amazon’s smart speakers, and a lot of smart home products that integrated Alexa. Amazon is pushing really hard to make sure that everyone talks to its AI assistant in the coming years. Another huge announcement at the hardware show included BMW. BMW announced that Alexa will be integrated into BMWs and selected Mini vehicles starting in mid-2018. “It’s a complete, comprehensive set of internet capabilities that is available inside your vehicle,” a BMW executive said during the Amazon show.
The integration uses microphones embedded inside the car. With Alexa inside the vehicle, drivers can use voice commands to use basic Alexa commands like asking for news and weather, in addition to third-party apps like Starbucks. Previously, Amazon and BMW had worked together on an Alexa Skill that allows car owners to talk to their apps or Echo to check things like remaining fuel in the car. This integration of Alexa and BMW will also take the level of involvement of AI in an average consumer’s life a notch higher. Whether you are a supporter or a cynic of voice controlled tech, the future seems to be tilting towards a voice controlled environment.
However, this is not the first time that Alexa has been integrated into a car, at CES this year, Ford introduced a line of cars that allows users to sync their Alexa devices so they can remotely unlock or start their car with voice commands.
Tech companies have been working towards adding software in cars and the likes of Apple and Samsung are even testing self-driving cars in the United States. Amazon’s recent push puts them at par with other tech giants looking to hold their own in the space of car technology.
Alexa will be available in all BMW vehicles for the 2018 model year, and mid-2017 Mini models in the US, Germany, and UK.