Alexa is officially hitching a ride with BMW, Amazon has announced. The new partnership should bring Alexa integration into all BMW and Mini vehicles starting in mid-2018, with users able to control their smart home and their smart cars using the same assistant.

Voice control has been cited as the saviour of modern driving, with users able to keep their eyes on the road while still interacting with the things that seemingly matter most, including social media and texting. Most car manufacturers have created clunky voice control systems, however, leading to the digital assistant being more of a hindrance than a help. Thankfully, BMW has seen the error of its ways and its partnership with Amazon should finally make it bearable to interact with a car using voice control.

Alexa’s in-car abilities will include everything one could expect from voice control-enabled cars, including getting directions, calling a business, playing music, checking the news or messaging friends. It won’t be limited to that, however, with users also able to control their smart home from behind the wheel of the car.

Thanks to the thousands of Alexa skills available in the marketplace, BMW drivers will have plenty of smart home ecosystems to choose from. Whether they own a Control4 or Crestron home and they want to ensure that a film is queued up for when they walk through the door, or whether they simply want to turn on a few Lutron lights when they go out – it’ll soon be all possible from a BMW car.

“We are excited to work with BMW to bring the Alexa experience to their drivers,” says Ned Curic, vice president, Alexa Automotive. “Voice is a big part of the future, especially in cars. Using your voice to enjoy content and interact with your car makes a great driving experience even better. We can’t wait for BMW customers to try this out.”

Amazon Alexa will be available in all 2018 model year BMW and Mini vehicles from mid-2018 in the US, UK, and Germany.

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