In brief: Even vehicles aren't safe in the smart assistant revolution. BMW has officially announced its "Intelligent Personal Assistant" (IPA) AI helper, which is expected to launch sometime in March 2019. IPA can adjust your car's high beams, open and close the sunroof, check its oil levels, and much more.
If you thought smart assistants could only be found in products from tech companies like Amazon and Google, the car industry seems intent on proving you wrong.
An increasing number of car manufacturers are beginning to include AI helpers in their vehicles. Some of the companies in question have opted to partner with existing smart assistant creators, while others have developed their own alternatives.
BMW has decided to join the latter group now - the company today announced that it's currently developing its own smart assistant, expected to launch sometime in March 2019.
The assistant, dubbed Intelligent Personal Assistant, will apparently be capable of just about anything car-related - it can activate your vehicle's high beams, control its sound systems, and open or close the sunroof.
It can also perform more nitty-gritty tasks, like telling you what your car's oil level is, or automatically checking its tire pressure. BMW reportedly plans to make IPA available for non-vehicle uses, as well - you might eventually be able to order products on Amazon or turn on your home's AC before arriving, all from the comfort of your car.
You can trigger the assistant with the default "Hey BMW" wake word, but the company also says drivers will be able to give the AI a personalized name.
Although IPA isn't arriving until March 2019, TechCrunch claims that any BMW 3-Series vehicles ordered in November will have the helper unlocked by default, for three years.