BMW has taught its built-in voice control system to better understand spoken commands. Available with all models from September 2009, the new BMW Voice Control will allow a driver to tell the navigation system a destination with a single voice command. Similarly, the entertainment system can be told to find and play a selection by the name of the artist, album or even a specific song title.
The new system is a significant step forward in driver/vehicle dialog. Previously, drivers were prompted by voice systems to supply an address one tedious step at a time. Now, the user can simply say, “123 Main Street, Pleasantville” and the voice recognition system will identify the separate components and plot a course to the destination.
Initially, the voice command system will only be able to select from music that has been stored on the car’s hard drive but BMW anticipates that, by Q2 2010, it will also be possible to use an iPod or other music player that's plugged into the car.
Obviously, the ability to control both navigation and entertainment systems without pressing a button or looking away from the road promises a safer and easier drive. BMW also says the system will adjust to the driver, providing short-cut voice commands to favorite places or songs.