IBM teams up with BMW to offer cognitive computing in cars

IBM Corporation

Car maker BMW partnered with IBM to include Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities in its cars.

As part of the agreement, the BMW Group will collocate a team of researchers at IBM’s global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, Germany and the companies will work together explore how to improve intelligent assistant functions for drivers.

BMW, which also has its company headquarters in Bavaria’s capital, is one of the first companies to sign up to be collocated inside IBM’s building within one of the newly-launched industry ‘collaboratories’.

A team of BMW Group engineers will work alongside IBM’s own team of technologists, developers and consultants, a joint press release reads.

“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,” said Harriet Green, Global Head of IBM’s Watson IoT business.

To further its automotive research and demonstrate the possibilities of Watson IoT technologies to clients, IBM will locate 4 BMW i8 hybrid sports cars at its Munich Watson IoT HQ.

Prototype solutions which will run on IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform will help demonstrate how Watson can enable new conversational interfaces between cars and drivers.

As part of a global investment of $3 billion designed to bring Watson cognitive computing to IoT, IBM has allocated more than $200 million to its global Watson IoT headquarters in Munich.

The investment, one of the company’s largest ever in Europe, is in response to escalating demand from customers who are looking to transform their operations using a combination of IoT and Artificial Intelligence technologies.

Currently IBM has 6,000 clients globally who are tapping Watson IoT solutions and services, up from 4,000 just 8 months ago.