Technology

BMW’s New Intelligent Voice Assistant Will Learn Your Habits

BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant will roll out next March for BMWs with Operating System 7.0.

Following in the footsteps of Mercedes’ innovative MBUX system, BMW is the latest automaker to introduce its own digital voice assistant rather than using existing services such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Dubbed the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, the service will be rolled out early next year.

By saying “Hey BMW,” users will be able to operate their car and access functions and information by simply speaking. Of course, voice controls in cars isn’t revolutionary anymore, but BMW claims the new personal assistant will learn the driver’s routines and habits, respond to natural voice commands, and provide conversations.

For example, the assistant will learn when you turn on the heated seats, your preferred climate control temperature, and frequent destinations you drive to using the navigation system. Unlike other digital assistants, drivers can also assign BMW’s assistant a name to give it a more unique personality.

It is also capable of responding to questions in casual conversation and can operate vehicle functions when required. Simply saying “Hey BMW, I’m cold” will prompt the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to adjust the temperature inside the car accordingly, for example. It sounds like very similar technology to Mercedes’ natural speech recognition feature in the MBUX infotainment system.

As well as controlling car functions, the IPA will also be able to answer questions related to the car such as “How does the High Beam Assistant work?”, “Is the oil level okay?” and “What warning messages do I have?”

To help improve the driver’s well-being, saying “Hey BMW, I feel tired” triggers a vitality program that adjusts the lighting mood, music and temperature to make the driver feel more awake. BMW also describes IPA as the “perfect co-driver” as it can look for the nearest gas station on command, read email, and allow the driver to join teleconferences through Skype for Business.

BMW’s IPA will launch next March with support for 23 different languages. High-end models equipped with BMW's operating System 7.0 will support the service, including the X5, Z4 and 8 Series. It will also be offered on the all-new 3 Series as an option and the service will be provided for three years.

Regular updates, which will be carried seamlessly on a smartphone and in-car by Remote Software Upgrade, will also add new features. In the future, BMW says the assistant will also be able to give fuel-saving driving tips or alert drivers to potential problems such as warning the driver when the tire pressure is too low or reminding the driver of service appointments and even arrange an appointment.

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