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BMW gets into the Virtual Assistant Game with its ConnectedDrive App
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BMW gets into the Virtual Assistant Game with its ConnectedDrive App

By Nathan Ingraham

The carmaker is taking inspiration from Siri, Cortana and Google Now.

BMW is one of the more tech-focused car companies out there, and today the company announced an expansion of its ConnectedDrive in-car systems at Microsoft Build. The new BMW Connected app for the iPhone is powered by Microsoft’s Azure platform and is BMW’s take on a always-on assistant, not unlike Cortana or Google Now. The unveiling on stage was quick, but generally speaking it looks like BMW Connected will start off by managing your appointments and giving you notifications about when you should leave, how traffic will change your route, whether you should get off the highway to avoid a traffic jam and so on.

All those features sounded similar to what Google Now and the iPhone do now, but the difference here is that BMW Connect will sync up with your car as well (assuming it’s a BMW running the ConnectedDrive platform). In addition to pulling in destinations and appointments from your calendar, the BMW Connected app will learn from your routines and places you search for commonly and give you travel times for those locations automatically. Frequent and recurring spots are stored and revealed to you when the app thinks you’ll want to return to them.

If you’re a BMW driver, the big benefit here will likely be the way the app integrates into your car — but lots of drivers would probably be just as happy using Android Auto or Carplay to tie their phones and vehicles together. That said, the new app ties right into your car, letting you unlock and lock the doors, flash the lights, kick up the AC before you’re in it and so forth. But if BMW Connected still isn’t compelling to you yet, BMW says it’ll keep updating the app with more features. We’re going to get a demo of the service today at Build and will update with any more details we learn.

Article was originally posted here

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