May 30, 2024

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BMW’s Next-Gen In-Car Assistant Will Be Powered by Amazon’s Alexa

Two boring white guys standing in front of logos.

This image is almost as exciting as BMW’s news about its coming Alexa integration.
Photo: BMW

A ton of new cars are coming equipped from the factory with Amazon Alexa integration because, presumably, some people are into that for some reason. Now, according to an announcement made on Wednesday, BMW is going a step further.

Specifically, BMW will use Alexa to power its next-generation BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. So, when you whine at your car because you’re cold or ask it to set a navigation destination and nothing happens, or it tries to freeze you out, you can now add Amazon to your list of companies to blame.

“The Alexa technology will enable an even more natural dialogue between driver and vehicle, so drivers can stay focused on the road. This will bring the digital experience to an entirely new level,” said Stephan Durach, senior vice president of Connected Company and Development Technical Operations for BMW Group, in a statement.

Of course, the addition of Alexa as the backbone of the digital in-car assistant could be cause for privacy concerns for a lot of users. Many people don’t use Alexa in their homes, so integrating it further into their cars kind of defeats the purpose. BMW and Amazon claim they will adhere to strict data privacy policies but didn’t elaborate on what that means.

It’s not totally clear either when this change will go into effect, but it seems likely that it’ll happen with the next generation of iDrive, though that’s just speculation on our part.