BMW to Release AI Personal Assistant System in Vehicles

The way people interact while in their vehicles is changing. To keep up, vehicles are incorporating more technology; high definition screens and supercomputers are taking the place of buttons and knobs.

BMW has introduced an AI-powered system called Intelligent Personal Assistant that allows drivers to communicate with their vehicle as they do with their smartphone. The digital assistant can control entertainment systems, navigation, and vehicle settings while drivers can focus on the road. Driving will become more convenient as drivers are able to multitask while remaining safe. The technology is expected to release next year.

BMW isn’t the first to take on the concept, Mercedes is releasing a similar AI system called Mercedes Benz User Experience, or MBUX for short, that will released in this year’s A-Class sedan.

Dieter May, BMW Group’s Senior Vice President of digital products noted that values are shifting in the auto industry, powertrain is taking a back seat to in car digital experience.

May states the technology is not about voice commands, but “building a digital character which you can interact with”. The smart assistant responds to “Hey BMW”, but the name can be changed if the driver prefers. Artificial Intelligence allows the in car assistant to become smarter with each interaction, question, and command. In time, the assistant learns driver setting preferences and is able to make adjustments from non-specific requests. For example, saying “Hey BMW, I’m tired, adjusts lighting, music, and temperature to keep the driver awake and alert.

Further, BMW personal assistant can read e-mails, sync your calendar, choose optimal routes, remind you when service is due, and even schedule the service for you, talk about convenience.

Technology has become a driving force in auto sales, especially among younger generations. Many show willingness to give up their preferred color, brand, or style in pursuit of a vehicle with new innovative technology. The introduction of AI in BMW’s creates a new driver experience with the latest in digital interaction. The intelligent personal assistant will differentiate the BMW brand from competitors, but it’s only a matter of time before other automakers hop on board.