You'll be able to use Alexa in most BMW models soon.
Amazon has slowly been creeping its way into our cars for a few years now. You can get Alexa in your Lamborghini if you want. Chrysler and Jeep have begun to integrate Alexa into their cars as well. Hell, you can even have Alexa go on a test drive in a new ID. 4 with you.
Now, BMW is looking to further integrate Alexa into some of its upcoming models. BMW made the announcement at Amazon's annual Devices and Services launch event.
"The Alexa technology will enable an even more natural dialogue between driver and vehicle, so drivers can stay focused on the road. This will bring the digital experience to an entirely new level," said Stephan Durach, Senior Vice-President Connected Company, and Development Technical Operations BMW Group.
Dave Limp, Amazon, added: "This cooperation with BMW is a great example of what Alexa Custom Assistant was designed for - to make it faster and easier for companies to develop custom intelligent assistants for virtually any device, without the cost and complexity of building from the ground up."
BMW has been using its Intelligent Personal Assistant since 2018 and says that voice interaction is an increasingly important part of its iDrive system. The latest model, iDrive8, just debuted this year and will be used in all new BMW models going forward.
The new voice assistant will work in tandem with Alexa. According to BMW, Alexa is there to provide a "familiar experience" to its customers. It will be able to control music, remotely manage smart home functions, or check the weather. Of course, Amazon needs its taste, so you'll be able to add items to a shopping list from your car as well.
If you're not a fan of Alexa, BMW says the customers will be able to choose to use either BMW's own voice assistant, Amazon Alexa, or both simultaneously. BMW doesn't specify, but we imagine that some tasks will be handled by one or the other while the voice you hear remains consistent with your preferences.
For now, even buyers of new Bimmers will have to stick with BMW's assistant. BMW says that the first vehicles with the next generation of BMW voice assistant will be launched within the next two years. It's not clear if this function will be standard, an optional extra, or a mix of both spread across BMW's lineup. We're sure BMW will have more details as the product nears launch.