BMW is adapting its connectivity offer and digital experience to the China, the world’s No. 1 market for premium vehicles.
The German automaker announced at CES that it would become the first premium carmaker to offer the Tmall Genie intelligent voice assistant in its cars sold in China. The voice assistant developed by Alibaba A.I. Labs will be fully and seamlessly integrated into BMW vehicles sold in the country. The voice assistant will be available in-car to BMW’s Chinese customers by the end of this year.
The move follows the integration of BMW Connected into Alibaba’s Chinese ecosystem. BMW Connected launched in China in December 2016 and is currently used by 1.5 million customers.
Now, by incorporating the cloud-based voice control service in the cars it sells in China, BMW will enable customers to access more in-car entertainment and shopping options, as well as call up appointments saved in the BMW Connected mobility agenda.
All they have to do (besides buying a BMW, of course) is own a Tmall Genie-compatible device at home. Therefore, customers will be able to access functions they are already accustomed to using at home — except they’ll do it on the move.
For example, customers can use Tmall Genie to place online orders, view cinema listings, listen to their favorite playlist, or check the weather at their destination. Customers will also be able to access all information the Tmall Genie has at its fingertips via audio output or displayed in text and image form on the BMW Display Screen.
“With the integration of Alibaba’s Tmall Genie in BMW vehicles in China we are adding a digital ecosystem, which will open up new possibilities that customers can access quickly and safely from the car,” said Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Products at the BMW Group.
“We look forward to working together with BMW to create a personalized mobility experience for its car customers in China,” added Miffy Chen, VP of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba A.I. Labs.