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Premiere in China: Alibaba voice assistant introduced into BMW vehicles

LAS VEGAS– BMW Group announced here on January 7 that it will become the first premium carmaker to launch Tmall Genie onto the market in China 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 CES 2019, the voice assistant will be available in-car to BMW customers in China by the end of 2019.

The focus of this latest move by the BMW Group following the integration of BMW Connected into Alibaba’s Chinese ecosystem is on the customer and their expectations of modern mobility. The digital lifestyle they are used to should continue in their car.

This move allows BMW customers who have a Tmall Genie-compatible device at home to operate vehicle functions easily and conveniently, for example, to place online orders, view cinema listings, listen to their favourite playlist or 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 be displayed in text and image form on the BMW Display Screen.

A smartphone is not required 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.

“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,” according to Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Products at the BMW Group. “This development sees BMW reaching a new milestone in China in terms of intelligent connectivity between the customer’s vehicle and their digital touchpoints.”

“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,” said Miffy Chen, VP of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba A.I. Labs. “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 personalized mobility experience for its car customers in China.”

BMW Connected was launched in China in December 2016 and is currently used by 1.5 million customers.

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