Tech giant Amazon is going ahead with its plans of extending the reach of its Alexa voice assistant beyond people’s houses, into their cars. As per reports, the firm has decided on a radical expansion of Alexa into the embedded software of vehicles. Along with this, Amazon is also mulling launching a consumer research website and investing in Rivian Inc., an electric car start-up.
It all began in 2016, when Amazon started offering solutions to automakers for routine chores, such as remotely starting the vehicle and checking fuel levels. The venture then developed to Alexa being integrated into vehicles’ sound system to be operated via an app and other vehicle accessories, as part of the Alexa built-in feature.
Speaking to Automotive News, Ned Curic, vice president of Amazon Alexa Automotive, said, “The real North Star for us is to be embedded with all the cars.” He added, “That’s where we want to get. We’re working very hard to get there because we believe that is the best experience.”
Though Curic didn’t disclose which automakers were in discussion with the firm, he said that a significant number of cars would have the voice assistant in the coming years. However, one thing which seems clear is that luxury brands BMW and Audi will be the first to offer Alexa in their vehicles.
As per Amelia Fine-Morrison, an Audi spokesperson, the company plans on integrating Alexa in its vehicles’ software gradually. The German automaker had launched Alexa on its Q4 e-tron electric crossover concept car last year.
Likewise, senior vice president of BMW’s digital services and business models, Dieter May, commented, that their “partnership with Amazon for Alexa is about providing a seamless experience between their home devices and their vehicles for their ‘digital’ lifestyles.”