BMW & IBM Teaming Up For “Intelligent” Super Cars


BMW will bring IBM’s Watson to its next-generation supercars

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The BMW i8 is one of the most easily recognisable cars on the road right now. Looking like something very much from the future, the £100K BMW i8 is a hybrid machine that dropped jaws when it first arrived on the scene.

The technology and engineering inside the BMW i8 is one thing, but the way it drives and looks is another thing entirely. It’s fast, environmentally-sound and kitted out with one of the best interiors ever placed inside a car.

But the i8 was just the beginning. BMW has a lot more planned for its hybrid cars and it is kicking things off in earnest with a collaboration with IBM that will see the company’s AI platform, Watson, installed inside four upcoming BMW supercars.

“The project aims to make driving assistance and information more personalised and intuitive — and Watson looks to be the perfect candidate for the job,” notes IT Pro. “IBM’s powerful AI should make the car’s existing systems much easier to use, and BMW has already given a few examples of how it could work.”

“The i8’s manual will be by Watson, so drivers will be able to enquire about vehicle information in natural language, rather than select phrases. In the same way, BMW and IBM want the Watson-fitted i8 to provide updates on everything from fuel levels to traffic updates in a simple, easy way.”

But because Watson is an AI, it will learn about you as a person and a driver as you use the car. It will learn how you drive, things you like, stuff you don’t and Watson, being an AI, will develop a more rounded picture of you as well as your wants and needs.

“Watson is transforming how people interact with the physical world — helping to create safer, more efficient and personal experiences at home, at work and on the road,” said Harriet Green, global head of IBM’s Watson IoT business.

“With this agreement, our companies will work together to lay the foundations so that drivers can benefit from Watson’s conversational and machine-learning capabilities. Our insight shows that while the car will remain a fixture in personal transportation, the driving experience will change more over the next decade than at any other time of the automobile’s existence.”

Another benefit of systems like this is that you can interact with it simply by talking to it; you don’t need to touch dials or click buttons – things that distract you while driving. All you need to do with Watson is ask it a question or issue a command.

Make no mistake: this type of technology is going to be a HUGE thing in the automotive space, as brands, hungry to increase sales and market share, look for ways to differentiate their products in the hugely competitive car market.

I cannot wait to see Watson in action.

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