BMW to Integrate Amazon Alexa into All Models
All new BMWs and Minis sold from mid- 2018 are to be equipped with Amazon’s cloud-based voice assistant, the BMW Group has announced. Voice interaction with Alexa’s AI, which end users have so far experienced by using Amazon’s “Echo” at home, should allow car users access to new services, entertainment and shopping opportunities. Almost all "Alexa’s skills", i.e. Amazon or third party Alexa applications, should then be available for use in cars.
Alexa’s full integration is under development: using the BMW Connected service, it has been possible to check vehicle information and consult appointments since 2016 in some countries. This has allowed users to ask Alexa to check vehicle information, such as the BMW’s state of charge or fuel level, or control their car via remote services from their home.
Personalisation through data analysis as a business model
By interacting with the learning cloud in the background, the vehicle user’s driving experience can both be more digital and more personalised. Deep learning by Alexa allows the AI to respond more precisely to each user. The machine’s ability to analyse and interpret human language improves with each query or request to Alexa. More importantly, car makers and service providers can learn more about the vehicle user every time Alexa is used, and can address future offers and services more precisely to each customer, creating a new digital business model.
In addition to BMW, other OEMs are either planning or implementing Alexa’s installation in their own vehicles. After US company Ford had already announced its collaboration with Amazon earlier this year, Volkswagen and the VW Group’s subsidiaries Skoda and Seat followed suit.