Knight Rider anyone?
As part of a new initiative to make its cars more connected and "technologically forward," BMW will allow you to control certain functions of your car with just your voice. In order to do this, BMW has partnered with Amazon and its Echo device in order to allow voice commands to control certain, limited aspects of the vehicle. The new voice controls can operate functions such as locking the doors and checking items like fuel levels, all from the comfort of your home thanks to Amazon Echo.
As far as integration is concerned, any device that uses the Alexa assistant technology will work with BMW's new Connected app. The main selling point that BMW and Amazon are pushing here is the integration with the Amazon Echo voice assistant speaker box thingy (that's a technical term, right?). This means you'll be able to ask Echo what the fuel level on your 5 Series is and receive a voice response back telling you that you better fill up before the weekend. One thing the app is very obviously lacking is the ability to remotely start your car via voice commands. Although to be fair, BMW does not offer this feature at all. Even its key fob does not offer remote start, unlike fobs from other manufacturers.
Additionally, the new Connected app pulls together data from planned travel and combines it with traffic information in order to provide the driver with an accurate departure time on their smartphone. Volvo, Ford and others have already teamed up with partners like Amazon and Microsoft to offer a similar style of service. It would appear that the era of the connected car is well and truly upon us.