Tech heads and Amazon enthusiasts currently mulling over the purchase of a new BMW or Mini may want to wait a little while longer. BMW and Amazon have announced today that every BMW and Mini sold starting mid-2018 will come with Amazon's Alexa personal assistant built-in.
That means instant, hands-free access to in-car directions, phone calls, music, news, and weather in addition to Alexa-specific skills such as ordering a drink from Starbucks, controlling and monitoring your connected smart home, launching a TED Talk, and of course, making Amazon purchases. It won't take away from the creep factor of a microphone that's always listening, but it should come in handy for those weekly trips back home from Costco in which you suddenly remember you forgot to pick up toilet paper. Again.
Aerial refuel-style, through-the-sunroof drone deliveries, anyone?
"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," says BMW Digital Services senior VP Dieter May. "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."
Possibilities that, apparently, include this:
Alexa-equipped BMWs and Minis will be available starting the middle of next year in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.