Web Summit 2018: Can my car be my buddy?

8. November 2018
ca. 2 minutes

For 9 years Web Summit brings together startups, CEOs and other top players from the tech world. After the considerable success of last year’s event, BMW continued its partnership once again this year. From 5-8 November 2018, the focus was not only on showcasing the latest technologies and products but also its impact and benefits for the people. 

Over 70,000 visitors attended the Web Summit 2018, one of the world’s biggest technology conferences. Over the four-day event, more than 1,200 speakers explored various aspects of digitalisation, provided information on new IT developments and discussed the implications of technological progress on society in the present and in the future.

As a partner and participant of the Web Summit 2018 BMW demonstrated its leading role in the field of digital services and connectivity. One way in which BMW is doing this is the new BMW 3 Series with its new digital BMW Operating System 7.0 display and control concept. Another technological innovation that is presented is the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. An adaptive digital companion which is voice controlled. Additionally, Remote Software Upgrade keeps the car up-to-date.

BMW Web Summit 2018 booth
Web Summit 2018 logo


However, it wasn't all about products this time. While they show what is already possible today, Christoph Grote, Senior Vice President BMW Group Electronics, gave listeners a glimpse into the future in his keynote speech. Instead of focusing only on the technological side, the beliefs and approaches of the BMW Group took centre stage. 

While the evolving technological possibilities and developments surely are one parameter for creating innovations such as the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, for Christoph Grote and the BMW Group the focus is really on the driver. His demands, wishes and needs are the key factors in creating real magic: an exciting combination of state-of-the-art technology, elegant simplicity and a discrete way of interaction.To be able to achieve this is no small feat:

In the future, the demands we have on our cars will continuously change. To make our lives easier, cars need to be straightforward, simple and intuitive, with cutting-edge technology that is subtle and elegant. Furthermore, they need to be natural to interact with, as well as reliable. The car and its technology need to really know us, sometimes better than we know ourselves. 

In order to develop such a car, the BMW Group relies on three pillars: individualism, adaptability and artificial intelligence. 

Everyone has their own preferences, the future car needs to be fully individualised and customised, so that it is able to anticipate the driver’s habits and needs and can adapt to them. 

Of course, this also defines the needs in regard to technological advancements. Only with the use of artificial intelligence can cars learn, be self-effacing and create long-lasting emotions.

Christoph Grote from BMW


If these three factors work in unison, the experience feels seamless and simple. It feels like magic. The technology works in the background and takes the drivers habits and behaviors into consideration to fully integrate into his daily life and to enrich his driving experience.

For the BMW Group, this is the essence of individual mobility aspirations. The vision of changing an intelligent car into a real companion – a true buddy – makes us excited for the future. We are ready and prepared for it.

More BMW Group News.

An interview with Klaus Fröhlich on flying and the mobility of the future.

Electromobility, emission-free cars and autonomous driving. The mobility of the future is certainly taking off – quite literally, in fact, at the BMW Group. The BMW Vision iNEXT was not only designed for the future, but also presented to the public in a cargo plane during its “World Flight”. Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development, explains why this provided the perfect setting and talks about the visions the BMW Vision iNEXT aims to realise.

When the driver becomes a passenger.

The first BMW debuted on the market in 1929. Since then, sheer driving pleasure has been transformed many times over. We now drive cars that can park themselves, stay in their lane – even brake for us in dangerous situations. And, in the future? Soon, we will also be able to decide whether to drive for ourselves or be driven – thanks to autonomous vehicles. But did you know it can also be fun? That is what most amazed people at a closed test circuit in Berlin in October, when they took a self-driving prototype of a BMW i3 (Level 4/5) for a spin.

“Hey BMW” – Your digital driving companion.

At this year’s Paris Motor Show, the “Mondial de l’Automobile 2018”, held in early October, the BMW Group showcased a number of innovative solutions, including the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. From March 2019, the intelligent digital driving companion will be available in selected BMW models, including the 3 Series, 8 Series, X5 Series and Z4 Series. It can help the driver operate the vehicle or find a parking space – and can also answer technical questions about the car.