Industry

BMW drivers will be able to shop from the road – using Amazon Alexa

BMW drivers will be able to shop from the road via voice from next year – when the automotive group will start to integrate Amazon’s Alexa into BMW and Mini vehicles.

Users will be able ask Alexa for directions, order a Domino’s Pizza, a takeaway from Just Eat, or top up their Amazon shopping list once the feature becomes available in the middle of next year.

Customers will also have access to Alexa skills from third-party developers, while Alexa will provide voice responses paired with visual cards on the BMW or Mini control display in the case of features such as to do lists and weather forecasts.

“We are excited to work with BMW to bring the Alexa experience to their drivers,” said Ned Curic, vice president, Alexa Automotive. “Voice is a big part of the future, especially in cars. Using your voice to enjoy content and interact with your car makes a great driving experience even better. We can’t wait for BMW customers to try this out.”

Dieter May, senior vice president digital services and business models at the BMW Group, said: “By making this step and integrating Alexa into our models from 2018, BMW and MINI will form a more intrinsic part of our customers’ digital lifestyles. Voice control first featured in BMW Group cars many years ago, and we are now enhancing its functionality by adding a digital ecosystem, which will open up all sorts of new possibilities that customers can access quickly, easily and safely from their car.”

Amazon says voice is a natural way to interact with your car while you’re on the go, citing examples such as Alexa’s ability to turn on outdoor lights or adjust home temperature settings for drivers as they leave work for home. The in-car experience builds on the BMW Connected skill for Alexa that was introduced in 2016. That helps customers control their vehicle – including activating climate control, locking the doors, and more – from any Alexa-enabled device.

Amazon Alexa will be available in all 2018 model year BMW and MINI vehicles from mid-2018 in the US, UK, and Germany.

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