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Amazon's Alexa to be integrated into new BMW and MINI

Published 28 September 2017

Want to check the traffic, add items to your shopping list or make an appointment while in your car? Well that will soon be a reality as Alexa, Amazon's voice control assistant, will soon be integrated into BMW and MINI vehicles.

Amazon's Alexa, the voice assistant in their successful Echo device, will be available on all BMW and MINI models from mid-2018, although it's not clear whether it will be standard fit or optional yet. The latter is more likely on most models...

The inclusion of a voice service will allow drivers to access a host of services - from entertainment features to shopping facilities with a simple voice interaction. Perfect for ordering a takeaway to be delivered on yor way home, perhaps.

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But this isn't the first time BMW and Amazon have joined forces. The two companies worked together on Alexa Skill in 2016, which allows Echo to check things like your fuel level from the comfort of your home.

A smartphone is not required as all BMW models and selected MINI vehicles come with a built-in SIM card. This means owners can find out times for films at their local cinema, switch between playlists and find out the weather at their destination by voice command while on the road.

The introduction of Alexa positions Amazon alongside high-profile tech giants like Apple and Google, who compete for footholds in the automotive industry, with Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto.

To check out the video, click the play button at the top of this story.


RobJP    on 28 September 2017

Here's hoping it replaces BMW's own 'voice control' system, which is utterly useless.

With their current system (and it's been identical for a decade or more), dialling a telephone number is virtually impossible ...

Press 'voice' button on steering wheel. Bleep indicates active. Say 'Telephone'. Bleep, and 'dial number'.

Zero ... (repeats back) Zero
one .... one
four ... four
five ..... nine !

etc, etc. It's slow, prone to errors, and just generally terrible.

In contrast, with Siri on my iphone 4 (I'm not one for the latest phone), I can go 'hey siri, please dial ... and rattle off a telephone number at full speed. And Siri gets it right every single time

beufighter    on 3 October 2017

You could give it a 'dam good thrashing' when it misbehaves. Some out there may be old enough to remember the days of the Austin Maestro when it was forecast by the public AND the motoring press, that talking cars where a distraction and would NEVER catch on.

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