BMW Reveals In-Car Personal Assistant System

BMW AG says its new Intelligent Personal Assistant technology will use artificial intelligence to build a digital persona with which drivers can interact.

The voice-activated system will be offered in March in the company’s 3 Series compact sedan, X5 midsize crossover, Z4 roadster and 8 Series large sedans. The feature requires BMW’s latest 7.0 operating system and Live Cockpit Professional option.

The always-on system responds to the phrase, “Hey BMW.” One example: Saying “I feel tired” would trigger a “vitality” program that adjusts interior lighting, music choice and cabin temperature to help keep the driver alert.

The system will use each interaction to build a profile of its user, thereby becoming more adept at responding effectively. BMW says the technology, which is compatible with other digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, also will be able to assist drivers through their smartphones when they are away from their vehicles.

The BMW system will integrate with Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business to enable in-car business teleconferences and the ability to read incoming email. The company says the assistant will be constantly updated from wirelessly delivered software upgrades.