bmw alexa


We all know Alexa can do some pretty neat things when it comes to connecting us to our appliances or gadgets.  But now, Alexa can be used to operate cars.  Well, lightly operate.  BMW announced that Alexa would come standard in their next two models. And then Nissan followed suit. But Alexa can only do a handful of things.  Which isn’t necessarily bad, though. It’s definitely a start.  And do you really want Alexa to be able to do more things?  I don’t.  At least not until there is more testing involved.  It’s interesting to see Alexa being integrated into cars now.  Which feels a bit futuristic, but I’m excited to see what Alexa will be able to do.

The new Alexa skill links up with Nissan’s smart service “NissanConnect”.  Like I said, Alexa can only do a few things, which include: Turning the engine on (or off), locking or unlocking the car’s doors, honking the horn and toggling on/off the lights.  If you have one of these cars, you will be able to use the new Alexa skill:

  • Nissan Altima (2016-17)
  • Nissan Maxima (2016-17)
  • Nissan Murano (2017)
  • Nissan Pathfinder (2017-18)
  • Nissan Rogue (2016, 2017)
  • Nissan Rogue Sport (2017)
  • Nissan Sentra (2016-17)
  • Nissan TITAN (2017)
  • Nissan TITAN XD (2016-17)
  • Nissan GT-R (2017)
  • Nissan Armada (2018)

There are a couple of differences between Nissan and BMW when it comes to Alexa. Which is what Alexa can actually do in each car.  I’ve mentioned (above) what Alexa can do in a Nissan, but what about in a BMW.  Well, these interactions are speculation at this point as it isn’t available in a BMW until 2018. But the features include: asking for news or driving directions to appear on the vehicle’s dashboard screen.  I really like the news idea as I’ve been thinking about how I can get my news while driving.  I’m sure there are ways, I just haven’t done enough research to figure it out.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to run out and buy a new BMW just so I can get this feature.

bmw alexa

Alexa’s integration into the cars will use microphones embedded into the car.  And then the visual content will be displayed on the head unit inside the car.  With Alexa inside the vehicle, drivers can use voice commands to use basic Alexa commands like asking for news and weather.  Previously Amazon and BMW had worked together on a Skill that would allow car owners to talk to their apps or Echo in order to check things like the remaining fuel levels.  Which is also something else I can get behind.  I like reminders and receiving verbal instructions, which would make my life easier.  But again, I won’t be running out to buy a BMW just for this.

This is yet another foothold for Amazon.  Amazon is competing with Apple’s Carplay and Google’s Android Auto.  But it doesn’t stop there.  At CES this year, Ford introduced a line of cars that would allow users to sync their Alexa devices so they can remotely unlock or start their car with voice commands.  Kind of like Nissan, but not available just yet.  Alexa will be available in all BMW vehicles for their 2018 model year, and mid-2017 mini models in the U.S., Germany and the UK.  Does this make you want to go out and buy one of these cars?

By Staff Writer

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