BMW will offer Alexa voice control in its cars next year

"Alexa, why is traffic backed up for miles?"

Amazon isn't content with Alexa pervading every corner of your home -- now, it's bringing that technology to your car. BMW has announced that it's making Alexa available in all its 2018 model year cars (including the Mini brand) starting in mid-2018 for the US, UK and Germany. You can use the voice assistant for typical Alexa tasks like the news or smart home control, as well as driving-oriented features like navigation or finding businesses. In many instances, voice responses will include relevant "visual cards" on your car's control display.

The move isn't at all shocking: this is Amazon's attempt to claim a foothold in the automotive space before it's too late. Apple and Google already have a strong presence thanks to CarPlay and Android Auto, and Amazon risked sitting on the sidelines if it didn't announce some major deals. Regional availability could be a problem, however. Alexa isn't an advantage if you can't buy products that use it, so Apple and Google will still have free rein unless Amazon expands access.