Hey Alexa,

 “What time should I leave for my next trip?”
 “What time should I arrive for the next appointment?”
 “What is my vehicle range?”
 “How much gas do I have?”
 “How far can I go before I need to refuel?”
 “Do I need to go to the gas station?”
 “Do I need to fill the tank?”
 “What is my vehicle’s fuel level?”
 “What is the status of my BMW?”
 “Is my car locked?”
 “Is my car unlocked?”
 “Did I remember to lock my car?”
 “Lock (secure) my BMW.”
 “Are my windows open?”
 “Did I remember to close my windows?”
 “What is my window status?”
 “Tell BMW to ventilate my BMW.”
 “Tell BMW to precondition my BMW.”

Sounds familiar? But in a car…? In a few days, BMW will start rolling out support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Commands may not be recognized without first stating “Alexa, ask BMW….” or “Alexa, tell BMW….”

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    And it’s not just voice. BMW has been working directly with the Alexa team at Amazon to also integrate visual responses from Alexa. Using the display above the center console of most new BMWs, the service shows additional facts or graphs when warranted.

    “By making this step of integrating Alexa into our models from mid-2018, BMW and MINI will form a more intrinsic part of our customers’ digital lifestyles,” remarked Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Business Models at the BMW Group, on BMWblog. “Voice control first featured in BMW Group cars many years ago, and we are now enhancing its functionality by adding a digital ecosystem, which will open up all sorts of new possibilities that customers can access quickly, easily and safely from their car.”

    BMW does have a warning. Alexa commands regarding fuel level, vehicle range, and window status are only compatible for Model Year 2017 and newer BMW vehicles with Navigation Professional and all BMW i3 and i8 vehicles.

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.