5 min March 9, 2017 in

Alexa in Your Car? Amazon Echo Is about to Take the Car Industry by Storm

Alexa – Amazon’s famous cloud-based voice service living inside top-selling products like Amazon Echo speaker, Echo Dot and Tap – is branching out and using its capabilities to get inside your car.

How? By acting like a link, it can connect your car to your home to make life more convenient and help you save time.

You can use Alexa to “talk” to your home and access smart home features while driving. Also, you can get access to your car without leaving your living room couch.

Read on if you want to find out what are the main benefits of using Alexa technology this way and how this type of connectivity is made possible.

Amazon Echo

What Do You Get by Taking Alexa for a Ride in Your Car?

In-car features: 

  • Play audiobooks while on the road. If you’ve been listening to the same audiobook at home, Alexa will automatically resume it
  • Offer directions to desired destinations
  • Read the latest news, general information or check game scores
  • Play music
  • Read weather reports
  • Enable you to do some online shopping (add items to Amazon shopping list) without ever taking your hands off the wheel
  • It can do pretty much everything else the Echo device does.

Home-to-car features: 

  • Engine stop-start. Using Amazon Echo with Alexa, you can send a command to your car to start warming up – while you’re finishing up your breakfast in your kitchen
  • Lock and unlock doors from inside the home
  • Check fuel level and battery range.

Car-to-home features:

  • Close/open garage doors. No more having to turn your car around because you forgot to close the door
  • Lets you remotely turn home lights on and off while keeping both hands firmly on the wheel.
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Ford Is the First Automaker to Integrate Amazon Echo and Alexa

The American car manufacturer revealed it will pair its AppLink feature with Amazon’s cloud-based voice service. The announcement was made at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

As a result, Ford cars will gain some of the same capabilities we can find in Amazon Alexa devices. 

How? By connecting Ford’s SYNC in-car technology platform with Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and the virtual assistant.

The goal?

Here’s how Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Amazon Alexa, describes it.

“We’re excited to work with Ford to enhance the driver experience both inside and outside of the vehicle.

Now, as far as the actual Alexa integration process goes, Ford has plans to unveil it in two separate stages.

  1. The first phase has already begun. It involves Alexa-controlled devices connecting drivers to their vehicles from inside their homes.
  2. The second phase expected to roll out sometime this summer will make it possible to place commands from the driver’s seat. 

According to Don Butler, the partnership came together around a common vision:

“Your voice should be the primary way to interface with your favorite devices and services”, said Ford Connected Vehicle and Services executive director.

A Few Other Notes

It’s easy to see why many people would take an interest in Alexa’s new range of usability. The appeal of voice-activated technology is unquestionable.

And Alexa can actually make your car smarter.

Amazon Echo

Being able to just say what you want and get it instantly without having to study a thick owner’s manual sure or switch between devices seems like a pretty good deal.

And if you’re one of the millions of people who bought an Echo unit, this might serve as an opportunity to experience its features on the go.

On the other hand, having a virtual assistant which is always listening could make some people be concerned about the privacy of their data.

Alexa uses a lot of data you provide to offer the best answers and the best experience. But there’s no way to decide what kind of information gets sent to whom and when.

What Are Your Thoughts on This?

As this year’s CES edition showed, Alexa seems to be everywhere these days.

What do you think about it tagging along in your car as well?

And which major automaker do you think will be the next to integrate Amazon Echo and Alexa?

Make sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to get weekly food for thought about driverless cars and the mobility of the future

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