With many automakers implementing more advanced connected services in their vehicles, BMW has revealed that it too will do the same with its new Intelligent Personal Assistant (we’ll shorten it to IPA). From March 2019, the system will be standard on models equipped with BMW Operating System 7.0 in selected markets.

Powered by BMW’s Open Mobility Cloud and artificial intelligence, the IPA will offer drivers the ability to operate their car and access its functions and information simply by speaking, even when outside their vehicles.

The system will tie in with a digital customer profile (BMW ID) and will learn routines and habits of the driver, taking into account their preferences and favoured settings. In essence, it is like having a personal butler for your car that you can communicate with via natural voice control.

To “ring up” the assistant, you’ll need to utter “Hey BMW” followed by the desired command. For instance, saying, “take me home” will result in the navigation system being set up to do exactly that, while, “Hey BMW, I’m cold” will prompt the system to adjust the climate control temperature accordingly.

Should you need to better understand how your car’s High Beam Assist works, the system will explain that, and should you say, “Hey BMW, I feed tired,” a vitality programme is triggered for the driver. BMW says the system even supports casual conversation, so you can ask, “Hey BMW, what’s the meaning of life?” and probably be replied with “42.”

For the busy businessman, the system offers integration with Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business, so emails can be read and teleconferences joined when needed. You can also link your calendar and contacts so the system can suggest a time the driver needs to set off, available parking space and routes with minimal congestion.

BMW says the IPA will be available in a basic version with voice control in 23 languages. As mentioned at the start, cars with OS 7.0 will support the function, which can be extended with the Connected Package Professional option. There’s also compatibility with other digital voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and other rapidly growing ecosystems, BMW says.

From March 2019, the X5, Z4 and 8 Series (with OS 7.0) will be able to install the full version of the IPA via remote software upgrade. The new 3 Series will be available for order with the system in November this year.