Did you know that American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year? That’s equivalent to seven 40-hour weeks at the office. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
There is also a growing demand for “connectivity” among consumers. Everything seems to be connected to the internet these days.
That’s why more and more automakers are pouring money into cars with IoT (Internet of Things) integration.
Of course, Amazon being Amazon won’t let this “business opportunity” pass. Apparently, it’s the next big thing in the car industry too.
The American multinational automaker is the first car company to announce the integration of Alexa into their vehicles. Aside from being able to connect your car to your home through your Echo, Dot, etc. and command Alexa while driving, you will also be able to start, lock or unlock doors and get vehicle information using voice commands. Now Ford owners will be able to control their smart home devices such as lights and thermostat on their way home.
Next is German automaker, Volkswagen, which announced the partnership earlier this year. Just like Ford owners, the next generation of Volkswagen owners will be able to easily connect their cars to their home. Alexa even knows the exact make and model of your vehicle and automatically links to Amazon.com so she can order exact parts or supplies for your car if you tell her what you need, such as windshield wipers – you can do this while driving or just sitting at home, without lifting a finger.
Just last week, Amazon and BMW announced that Amazon Alexa will be available in BMW and MINI vehicles starting in mid-2018. Owners will have access to Alexa’s thousands of skills while on the go. Alexa will provide voice responses paired with visual cards on BMW’s and MINI’s control display, such as to do lists or weather forecasts.
“Voice is a big part of the future, especially in cars. Using your voice to enjoy content and interact with your car makes a great driving experience even better. We can’t wait for BMW customers to try this out,” said Ned Curic, Vice President, Alexa Automotive.
Owners of 2016 to 2018 Nissan cars will now be able to access Alexa to remotely start the car, unlock and lock the doors, flash the lights, and honk the horn.