BMW’s next voice assistant uses Amazon’s Alexa technology

The next generation of BMW’s voice assistant builds on Amazon’s configurable Alexa Custom Assistant.

The next generation of the voice assistant in BMW vehicles is based on technology from Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa. This was announced by BMW on Wednesday at Amazon’s annual Amazon Devices and Services event. The aim is to make communication between driver and vehicle more natural. The driver should be able to concentrate better on the road, according to a statement from BMW.

The basis for the future BMW language assistant is therefore the Alexa Custom Assistant presented in 2021. It enables car manufacturers and other manufacturers, for example of consumer electronics, to develop their own language assistants based on Alexa and adapt them to the needs of customers. For example, the skills, the abilities as well as the activation word and voice can be changed. Amazon promises that companies can develop a tailor-made voice input assistant more quickly and cost-effectively.

BMW plans that the new voice assistant will work “seamlessly in interaction with Alexa”. In addition to vehicle-specific communication, it should also offer the functions known from Alexa, such as playing music and remotely controlling your own smart home. According to BMW, it will be possible to use both separately if required. The group wants to ensure the protection of privacy and data protection-compliant data processing when used.

The vehicle manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) jumped on the bandwagon earlier – when the Alexa Custom Assistant was presented in January 2021 – to set up a language assistant for their vehicles with him.

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At BMW, it will also take a while before the new language assistant is available in vehicles: it should come “over the next two years”, according to BMW.