BMW continues teasing Dee, thought to be a new voice assistant

Throughout December, BMW’s been running a social media campaign centered around an entity called “Dee.” It started December 13 with a mock hack of the automaker’s social networks, multiple posts on BMW’s Instagram page and elsewhere reveling in Dee “borrowing BMW’s channels to do a little ‘research'” as if Dee were a cabal of insouciant black hats. The Insta page even got renamed to Dee for a quick minute. Then came Arnold Schwarzenegger. Last seen in a BMW ad pretending to be Zeus driving the new iX during the Super Bowl, he enters stage left taking off the mythical costume and has a brief chat with Dee before starring in another post on December 20 where he works with the disembodied female voice to find a new outfit.

The campaign just pulled out its next two big guns in David Hasselhoff and the Knight Industries Two Thousand, otherwise known as K.I.T.T. Two days ago, the Hoff was reunited with the co-star that made him famous, the human star effusing over the black Pontiac Firebird with the Cylon eye and Vulcan temperament, the message being that someone can be happier about their car than their friends. The most recent installment has Hasselhoff asking K.I.T.T. about “This Dee character.” The car responds that it doesn’t know much, but they’re going to meet in Las Vegas, and word is going to get out about whatever Dee is.

What’s it all about? The signs point to a new voice assistant. BMW put Amazon’s Alexa assistant into its vehicles in 2018. A BMW exec took the stage at Amazon’s Devices and Services launch event in August this year, telling the world BMW would use Alexa Custom Assistant technology to create a new voice assistant headed for production vehicles within two years.

The automaker has also said it will bring a new entry in its Vision line of concepts to the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that runs from January 5-8. The concept intends to show off the Neue Klasse platform designed to accommodate the range of technologies BMW’s planning for the coming decade of vehicles. Sounds like “Hey BMW” is out for the NKL, and “Hey Dee” will be in.

According to Baby Center, Dee peaked as a girl’s name in the late 19th century, but it peaked as a boy’s name in about 2000 — meaning Dee will hit the market around the time the first batch of boy Dees are shopping at their first new BMW.

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