Alibaba voice assistant introduced into BMW vehicles

Alibaba voice assistant introduced into BMW vehicles

BMW, Alibaba A.I. Labs, assistant
photo: BMW

The BMW Group continues its ongoing expansion of intelligent connectivity and is constantly enhancing the digital experience for customers worldwide. To this end, BMW will become the first premium carmaker to launch Tmall Genie onto the market in China. This will happen in selected BMW models.

The intelligent voice assistant from Alibaba A.I. Labs will be fully and seamlessly integrated in BMW vehicles in China. As the two companies announced at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 (CES) in Las Vegas, the voice assistant will be available in-car to BMW customers in China by the end of 2019. The integration of the intelligent cloud-based voice control service in the Chinese market opens up a variety of in-car entertainment. And there will be shopping options for BMW drivers while on the road.

This latest move by the BMW Group follows integration of BMW Connected into Alibaba’s Chinese ecosystem

It allows BMW customers who have a Tmall Genie-compatible device at home to operate vehicle functions easily as well as conveniently. They can also call up appointments saved in the BMW Connected mobility agenda. BMW Connected’s launch was in China in December 2016. Currently, 1.5 million customers use it. Now the integration of Tmall Genie into BMW vehicles enables customers to also access functions on the move they are already accustomed to using at home on the move.

BMW customers in China can use Tmall Genie to place online orders, for example. Or view cinema listings as well as listen to their favourite playlist. They can also check the weather at their destination. Customers will enjoy the benefits of hundreds of Tmall Genie skills. They can access all information the Tmall Genie has at its fingertips via audio output. This can also appear on a displayed in text and image form on the BMW Display Screen.

The focus is on the customer and their expectations of modern mobility. Their usual digital lifestyle should continue in their car.

According to Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Products at the BMW Group:

“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.”

Miffy Chen, VP of Alibaba Group, General Manager of Alibaba A.I. Labs said:

“We launched the ‘AI+Car’ solution last year aiming at providing more intelligent and connected experience for Chinese car users through Tmall Genie’s AI powered voice interaction and service capabilities for cars. Among our collaboration with premium automakers, we are very glad that BMW will be the first premium auto brand to bring selected car models that fully integrate Tmall Genie to the China market. We look forward to working together with BMW to create a personalised mobility experience for its car customers in China.”

There’s no requirement for a smartphone to use the intelligent voice assistant in-car. All BMW models come with an embedded SIM card, which enables seamless integration and permanent online availability.