- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2022

BMW is teaming up with Amazon to provide drivers with a smart voice assistant capable of managing verbal tasks while drivers keep their attention on the road.

The automaker said its voice assistant functionality will be built upon Amazon’s Alexa technology and will allow drivers to do such things as control music, check the weather, or manage smart home devices while in transit.

Tech platforms’ voice assistant tools have become commonplace on smartphones and laptops and are available via a range of other portable or wearable technologies. Voice assistants will now become virtual passengers, too.

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

BMW previously introduced a voice assistant in 2018 focused on vehicle and service issues. The automaker said customers will be able to choose whether to use the BMW vehicle-focused assistant or Alexa individually or both voice assistants together.

The new voice assistant combining Amazon and BMW’s technology is set to become available in vehicles launching within the next two years, according to BMW.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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