BMW has announced that it is putting a new proprietary AI assistant into its cars that it calls the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. This AI is proprietary and aims to enhance the BMW driving experience. The AI is always on and will respond to the voice prompt "Hey BMW" and can perform a range of functions for the driver. Drivers can harness the AI to control vehicle settings, navigation, entertainment systems, explain vehicle functions, and conduct conversations.
BMW plans to debut the AI in 2019 and promises that this will usher in a new era for drivers to operate their cars and functions via voice control. In the future, BMW claims that the AI will be ready to help drivers when they are outside the car. BMW also claims that its AI will be compatible with other digital voice assistants and will provide a link to other ecosystems.
BMW has provisions in place using its Open Mobility Cloud to allow the personal assistant's capabilities to grow and enhance over time. The system will be updated regularly supporting an ever-expanding range of functions and skills. Intelligent Personal Assistant can learn the routines and habits of the driver and apply what it has learned in the appropriate context. It will do things like learning their preferred vehicle settings including things like seat heating preferences and frequent destination. Something BMW is doing that is unique is to allow the driver to name their AI. It's not clear if this means drivers would be able to say "Hey Bob" instead of "Hey BMW."
The AI will be able to respond to natural voice commands even if those commands don’t explicitly state what the driver wants. An example BMW gives is a driver saying, "Hey BMW, I'm cold" and having the AI adjust the temperature in the car. Drivers can ask the AI to explain things like the function of the automatic high beam headlights for instance or ask the AI what messages they might have.
BMW's AI will be available in a basic version in 23 languages and markets starting in March 2019. It will land in the U.S., Germany, UK, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Japan at that time and hit China in May 2019. BMW models featuring iDrive 7.0 will have the AI as part of Live Cockpit Professional.