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When it comes to the BMW i3, the answer is electric. Sure, you can get a gas-engine range extender for the vehicle itself, but if you're interested in buying or test driving the EV, electronic assistance will be involved.

The International Business Times reports that BMW will use something called the iGenius to respond to people's questions about the i3 that are submitted via text message. Apparently, the algorithms can understand the question based on words and context and then send back relevant information to the curious texter. London Brand Management (LBM) came up with the automatic reply system, and there is no word on if the i8 will also get iGenius'ed.

All this doesn't mean the i3 will be sold online, and the LBM AI isn't trying to replace the dealer. Instead, the point is to be there when the dealer can't. LBM founder Dmitry Aksenov told IBT that, "Our system allows people to get information at the moment of interest, whether that's watching TV or reading a paper. A salesman isn't available 24/7, 365 days a year."

On top the iGenius service, BMW just announced, via Twitter, of course, that interested parties can sign up for a test drive now. Online, of course.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      The more I see of this BMW, the more I want to drive one. Anything that helps sell the car, or create additional interest is great. The iGenius may help educate potential customers about the functioning aspects of EV driving, and help to allay fears.
      Zapbrannigan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can you actually but it with those wheels from the picture?
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        There is another wheel option...
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Translation: We don't trust our sales people to give the correct answers.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Tesla doesn't trust their own Dealers to be honest... But seriously, most salespeople *are* pretty clueless about specific details regarding new high-tech autos.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          They are clueless, period. Not all, of course (don't want to offend the auto dealers association). I remember looking at cars some years ago. The 'duratech' engine had just come out. This engine, at 3.0 liters, was sold alongside cars with the Vulcan engine, which was 3.0 liters as well. I asked the saleshole, 'does this car have the duratech or the Vulcan V6? Blank stare 'Let me go ask.' For cars, ford had 5-6 engines at that time. Salesholes make commissions on cars. Don't be stupid.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @ Letstakeawalk Generalizations are like stereotypes, often unfair and full of prejudice. Auto salespeople are just the same as everyone, they also become fans of certain models and irrational prejudices against others. Successful dealers spent considerable time and resources educating staff in not just product education, but professional conduct. Like every profession, auto-salespeople come in a wide diversity of ability. The Internet has made the salespersons job far more difficult. A salesperson can invest a lot of time educating the prospective buyer about the vehicles abilities, then the buyer trots off to see if he can get a better price from another dealer. Often the consumer becomes confused by the 'C'mon" ads run on the Internet , only to discover that the 'deal' or 'vehicle' isn't available. It's a tough business the auto-trade and lacks prestige. But there are plenty of auto-salespeople who love what they do, because they love cars !
      taser it
      • 1 Year Ago
      And the war with SkyNet began with a negative review of the i3
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is it too heavy? Yes Does it have poor aerodynanics? Yes Are BMW rank amateurs who failed to gain anything from carbon fiber use? Yes Pretty smart system :)
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        You did your own Haapy Dan Review? What? I wasn't fast enough?
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        @ DF/ Giza " BMW are rank amateurs" Hmmm,.......Let's see, on the one hand we have BMW, who have been producing cars since 1916, produce 2,000,000 vehicles per year, at a profit of $8 billion, just releasing an important and exciting new EV. On the other hand, we have a weird little misanthropic troll, who has never produced anything of any value, fulminating in his bedroom .......
          Giza Plateau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marcopolo
          GM has produced many more vehicles my dark friend yet they still crushed the EV1 in the desert and lied about it and then rushed the Volt as hasty ill conceived PR damage control for the documentary. That they are big and have lived long doesn't make them any less incompetent. Speaking of BMW incompetence, it's not long ago that BMW said they will stick with the combustion engine, period. You are just a dark mind that is offended by the piercing truth I speak. The alu Audi A2 which is no doubt the body style they based the i3 on weighed 900kg with all the combustion engine junk. Yet BMW using carbon fiber ended at 1250kg. 350kg more than an all metal car. Golf 7 starts at 1050kg and that's an all steel car. BMW screwed the pooch. On weight, on material use on aerodynamics. Rank amateurs, even though they are technically professionals.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marcopolo
          @ DF/ Giza, Time for your medication....
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        You had a good joke going until you you hit that last one and became your obnoxious self.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Not heavy at all at 2700lb with a 450lb battery pack.... Please state what the drag coefficient is.... And any test to back up the statement... The carbon fiber is why the car is so light....????? (Weird statement)
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW's done one better than Tesla; Musk wants to gt rid of Dealerships, BMW is getting rid of salespeople!
        Koenigsegg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        salespeople are located within the dealerships...
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Koenigsegg
          One step at a time, TF... BMW understands that customers want simple answers, and that those answers can easily be provided by the corporate botnet. They don't need to go to a physical store to get that info, either. Tesla has proven that customers are very happy to buy a car without ever setting foot inside a store, and that many customers prefer *not* to deal with pushy salespeople. "Our system allows people to get information at the moment of interest, whether that's watching TV or reading a paper. A salesman isn't available 24/7, 365 days a year."
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Letstakeawalk, You might be right on target here... It is not the dealership or service department that I detest, it IS THE SALES PEOPLE...
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I'll vote for that! :-)
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