Have you ever wanted your car to be as intelligent as your smartphone? Don't you wish it had the ability to make reservations for you or make an advanced call? Well, BMW, with the help of Alibaba, will soon make that a reality.
To be available in China by the end of 2019, BMW will be the first automaker to be integrated with Alibaba's Tmall Genie intelligent voice assistant system. It works like Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa but has been tailor-made for use in BMW automobiles.
With it, the two companies claim that this will open up a wide array of in-car entertainment and shopping options, as well as other services and needs while on the go. From setting up appointments in advance, to ordering movie tickets, and even checking the local news and weather, the new cloud-based voice control service functions via the BMW Connected system first launched in 2016.
All BMW models that will come with Tmall Genie will have an integrated SIM card, allowing owners seamless integration and online availability all the time. Customers will have full access to Tmall Genie's wide array of functions and voice commands, and can even display them in text and image form on the car's onboard display. Moreover, BMW customers that have a Tmall Genie-compatible device at home will be able to operate vehicle functions conveniently and remotely.
“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. This development sees BMW reaching a new milestone in China in terms of intelligent connectivity between the customer’s vehicle and their digital touchpoints,” said Dieter May, senior vice president in Digital Services and Products at BMW Group.
Miffy Chen, vice president of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba AI Labs, stated that the company is glad that BMW will be the first premium auto brand to come with their intelligent voice assistant system.
“We look forward to working together with BMW to create a personalised mobility experience for its car customers in China,” added Chen.
With Alibaba's Tmall Genie already making waves in China, it won't be long until Google, Amazon, and even Apple step up their in-car connectivity functions and amenities.