The collaboration between Amazon and BMW, announced at CES 2024, marks a significant advancement in vehicle-based voice assistants, merging artificial intelligence with the driving experience. This partnership introduces an enhanced experience by combining a large language model (LLM) with Alexa and the driver’s manual. The outcome is a sophisticated chatbot powered by Alexa, allowing users to ask any questions about their car and receive accurate real-time information. This eliminates the need for drivers to consult the traditional and often cumbersome manual, providing a more accessible and user-friendly way to understand their vehicle.
Amazon emphasizes that this tool offers a “more natural way of getting to know your new car,” enabling users to inquire about various features and receive conversational answers. The aim is to simplify the user experience, strip away complexity, and minimize distractions in the car, enhancing both convenience and safety.
The collaboration between Amazon and BMW goes beyond providing information; it enables users to instruct the chatbot to perform actions on their behalf, such as entering a specific drive mode. This integration extends to the infotainment system, allowing users to control various functions, including playing music, navigation, and adjusting the internal temperature.
While BMW has incorporated Amazon Alexa into its infotainment systems for years, this partnership signifies a significant advancement. The companies had previously announced a collaboration to develop a custom BMW in-vehicle voice assistant, using Alexa as a foundational framework. The current integration with the chatbot appears to be part of this broader effort to enhance the voice-driven capabilities within BMW vehicles.
The pursuit of advanced voice assistant technology is evident across the automotive industry, with companies like Volkswagen and Mercedes also making announcements about integrating sophisticated language models like ChatGPT into their vehicles, creating a competitive landscape for voice-driven features.