- BMW introduces voice-activated personal assistant for its cars
- This enables drivers to control navigation, entertainment system and vehicle settings via voice commands
- This AI based personal assistant learns the setting preferences overtime and adjusts automatically
“Hey BMW, map the route to downtown Manhattan and turn on the AC.”
“Sure, it’s done.”
This isn’t a conversation conjured up from a dream or even from a movie. This is a reality thanks to BMW announcing that they’ll be integrating a voice-controlled personal assistant in their fleet of cars. Following on from the likes of Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, personal assistants in your car have now become real-world use cases.
BMW’s personal assistant lets the driver communicate with the car, just like we communicate with our phones.
Using this advanced voice-recognition system, the driver will be able to control vehicle settings, navigation and the in-built entertainment system. Moreover, the BMW designer team claims that the smart assistant can learn the driver’s setting preferences over time and will be able to make a series of adjustments automatically! A classic case of machine learning.
The assistant responds to the prompt “Hey BMW” (although it can be customized). One can choose to be specific with the commands, or simply say “I’m too tired” or “I’m too cold” and the assistant will adjust the settings accordingly. Cool, isn’t it?
There’s more. Based on the time of the day, it will be able to predict travel routes, sync with appointment calendars to offer directions to the next meeting, and integrate with Microsoft Office 365 to read emails. The team also mentioned that the assistant will offer fuel-saving driving tips, deliver alerts (such as low tire pressure warnings or send service appointment reminders) and even schedule the service.
The personal assistant is expected to roll out in March 2019 (in 23 languages) to cars that support BMW operating system 0.7. The below video gives us a glimpse of the BMW’s personal assistant:
Our take on this
BMW already has countless features that differentiate it from the rest of the world, and here is another addition to it. For a car nerd like me, this is quite an exciting development.
What caught my eye was that the assistant will be able to ‘learn’ the setting preferences. It’s amazing how far machine learning has come in recent years, isn’t it? I’m curious to figure out the nitty-gritties of the technique but I can guess it will be similar to how Google uses NLP and speech recognition in its services.
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