BMW has introduced its new Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA), ahead of its launch next March.
Set to respond to the prompt “Hey BMW,” the system will allow drivers to access key vehicle functions and information simply by speaking. While voice control technology has been around for awhile, BMW says their personal assistant will get to know drivers and allow them to speak more naturally.
In particular, BMW says their personal assistant will learn driver’s preferences and usual destinations. In essence, the IPA will learn which temperature you usually set the climate control system at, when you usually turn on the heated seats and when you typically drive to work.
Users will also be able to interact with the system using less rigid voice commands. As BMW explains, drivers can simply say “Hey BMW, I’m cold” and the car will automatically adjust the climate control system to increase the temperature.
Besides controlling basics such as the audio and climate control system, the IPA will also be able to answer questions such as “How does the High Beam Assistant work?” and “Is the oil level okay?” Users will also be able to say “Hey BMW, I feel tired” and this activate a “vitality program” which will adjust the lighting, audio system and climate control system to make the driver feel more awake.
BMW goes onto described as the IPA as an “ideal co-driver” as users can ask it to look for nearby gas stations or parking spots. The system can also read e-mails to the driver and allow them to join teleconferences using Skype for Business.
The IPA will be launched next March with support for 23 different languages. It will be available on models equipped with BMW Operating System 7.0 and this includes the X5, Z4 and 8-Series. The system will also be offered on the all-new 3-Series as an option and service will be provided for three years.
The system’s launch is still several months away, but BMW says it capabilities will “constantly [be] expanded as part of regular updates, which can be carried out seamlessly on a smartphone and in-car by Remote Software Upgrade.” BMW went on to say future updates could allow the system to give fuel-saving driving tips, warnings about low tire pressure and reminders about appointments.