BMW have used CES 2021 to launch their latest ‘BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant’ with the help of Aussie, Alex Hirschi. You might know her better as Supercar Blondie – a down to earth car nut who loves supercars and supercar culture and who shares this love of cars with her 31.9 million Facebook followers, her 7.7 million Instagram followers and her 4.9 million YouTube subscribers.

In the clip, Alex helps the Assistant learn aspects about her life and even the meaning of a thumbs up! Alex even shows how she can name the personal assistant whatever she likes, rather than having the assistant’s name dictated to her. This is the kind of artificial intelligence that will allow integrated personal assistants to move beyond being a gimmick and being able to really help drivers.

In anycase, having Supercar Blondie show us how to interact with the latest ‘BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant’ was far more interesting than the clip that shows a ‘talking E65 7 Series’ as the car attempts to convince a new X1 that it’s new fandangled personal assistant technology has no place in this world. Wow. Just wow. I can promise you that it was worse than the stuff that hit the editors floor during the making of Cars Movie 2.

Much more convincing was Stephan Durach, senior vice president Connected Company Development at BMW, explaining the company’s transition from the first iDrive system (launched in the 2001 E65 7 Series) to this latest version. An added bonus was a chance to look around BMW’s Munich museum as the camera swept across a back catalogue of some utterly brilliant cars. The clip was also a chance to look back on just what a paradigm shift iDrive was.

A rotary dial to control your car’s menus and submenus is now commonplace on just about every make and model, but it was BMW who introduced this technology (and, if I remember correctly, copped an absolute pizziling for this ‘difficult’ system – it wasn’t difficult, it was different). Now we’re used to swiping, flicking and flipping and ‘talking’ to phones and cars. BMW’s ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ is taking that to the next level by ‘learning’ how we swipe, flick, flip and talk to devices such as personal assistants.

What will you name your next car’s personal assistant?

EFTM’s coverage of CES 2021 is supported by Hisense, Samsung and Powered by Telstra’s 5G.