BMW announces Alexa technology integration in its next-generation voice assistant

Rob Lescaille Nov 09, 2022
Automotive Alexa Vehicles Announcements Alexa Built-in SDK Alexa Custom Assistant

At our annual Devices & Services event in September, BMW joined us on stage to announce that their next-generation voice assistant will be built with Alexa technology, continuing to drive voice interaction as a key part of the BMW experience. This innovation is made possible with Alexa Custom Assistant, our solution designed for brands to provide world-class voice artificial intelligence (AI) experiences, customized for their own brand. The solution includes the ability to have a unique wake word, voice, skills, and capabilities for an experience tailored to customers’ needs. Customer choice is at the center of how Alexa Custom Assistant is designed. It allows customers to seamlessly interact with both Alexa and the brand’s voice assistant, without having to remember which assistant to go to for specific requests. BMW’s new assistant works alongside Alexa, making it easy to access the Alexa experiences customers already know and love.


Watch the video from the even below:

We know that as customers do more with their voice while inside the home, they also increasingly expect delightful voice-enabled experiences inside the vehicle, too. The Alexa Auto SDK lets automakers integrate Alexa directly into the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system as a built-in voice assistant. With Alexa, customers have access to over 130,000 skills from inside the home, and on the go through Alexa’s many mobility skills. Skills for finding parking, making restaurant reservations, and ordering food are just some of the ways customers can enjoy Alexa in their vehicles. To differentiate the experience, automakers can develop their own custom skills to provide access to unique vehicle features, owner resources, or dealership services. These skills can be assigned to the Alexa Custom Assistant for a more focused brand experience while Alexa takes care of the rest.


A tailored brand experience

Alexa Custom Assistant works by letting device makers and service providers create intelligent assistants tailored to a brand’s personality and customer needs, using innovations in AI and the cloud to deliver an always-improving solution. It also allows their voice assistant to seamlessly coexist and cooperate with Alexa. A brand’s intelligent assistant serves as their customers’ product and services expert, while Alexa provides the voice-assisted experiences customers are familiar with, such as controlling their smart devices or playing their favorite podcast. By using Alexa Custom Assistant, brands can significantly reduce the development time, cost, and complexity of building intelligent assistants into their products—including automobiles. Automakers can benefit from Alexa’s technology that constantly improves spoken language understanding, intent routing, and response orchestration to provide a natural, intelligent, and conversational interface in the vehicle. 


Using Alexa technology as the foundation for a custom voice assistant allows companies to focus their resources on creating customer experiences unique to their brand. By reducing the burden of building the core capabilities of an intelligent assistant, companies can focus their time and resources on creating unique capabilities that delight their customers. Developers can use the familiar Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) technology to build bespoke capabilities tailored to their brand and accessed through a unique wake word. For example, custom skills could be used to control a unique vehicle feature, schedule service at a dealership, or purchase a vehicle accessory. This robust development environment allows each Alexa Custom Assistant implementation to be tailored to the individual brand, product, and customer needs.


We’re thrilled to join BMW in developing their next-generation voice assistant using Alexa Custom Assistant to create a truly unique and delightful experience. To learn more about Alexa Custom Assistant, register on our developer portal. To learn more about how to bring Alexa into the vehicle cabin, visit Alexa for Vehicles.


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