Not content to let Mercedes-Benz have all the “voice control” fun with its clever MBUX system, BMW has announced that it will start rolling out a new “intelligent personal assistant” that responds to the prompt "Hey BMW" (similar to the "Hey Mercedes" greeting created by the Stuttgart-based brand) from March 2019.

Interestingly, the Munich-based automaker says personal assistant (which will be compatible with other digital voice assistants beyond Amazon Alexa) will also be able to assist the driver outside of their vehicle, whether it’s at home with the help of a smart speaker or elsewhere via smartphone.

“BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant teams up with the new BMW Operating System 7,0 to create a brand new, digital form of interaction with the customer’s BMW that redefines the whole driving experience,” said Dieter May, senior vice president for digital products at the BMW Group.

The automaker says its new personal assistant “learns routines and habits, and is subsequently able to apply them in the appropriate context”. The assistant (which can interestingly be named by the driver) is familiar with the vehicle’s functions and is able to operate them as required, says BMW. For example, saying “Hey BMW, I’m cold” will prompt the Intelligent Personal Assistant to adjust the temperature inside the car accordingly.

The new feature will be available in what BMW describes as “a basic version” with voice control in 23 languages and markets from March 2019. It will be offered on models featuring the new BMW Operating System 7,0 and as part of the Live Cockpit Professional (although the scope of functions can be extended with the Connected Package Professional).

The personal assistant will be available to order for the new 3 Series from November 2018 and will be included for three years. From March 2019, buyers of the new X5, Z4 and 8 Series models fitted with the BMW Operating System 7,0 will be able to install the full version of the Intelligent Personal Assistant via remote software upgrade without having to visit a dealer.