Bavarian marque gunning for MBUX with conversational inputs and 'Hey BMW' functionality.

BMW has announced its competitor to MBUX, dubbed Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA), ahead of its production debut in March next year.

As is now standard in smart speakers from Google, Apple and Amazon, you can prompt the IPA with 'Hey BMW' – good luck to owners with a Google Home – and it'll take care of essentially any of the in-car functions for you. Owners can also name their car's assistant, with BMW offering Charlie or Joy as suggestions.

Along with making phone calls and radio stations, BMW says the system will learn your preferences and habits. That way, when you say 'Hey BMW, it's cold' on a mid-winter commute, it knows to crank the heater up and turn on your heated seats.

When paired with a full BMW Connected Services suite, it'll be able to dial into teleconferences through Skype, too. For tech-averse owners, it'll explain how some of the car's systems work, and provide updates on vital signs like the oil level.

Remote software updates mean the system can be constantly improved, with BMW promising extra functionality including fuel-saving tips and appointment reminders as the assistant matures. Owners of BMW OS 7.0-equipped cars will be able to download the service in March 2019 remotely.

“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 of digital products, BMW Group.