Amazon’s automotive offerings expand through Alexa Auto at CES
Tech giant Amazon revealed several initiatives at CES centered on Alexa Auto, furthering the retail tech giant’s quick and ambitious push into the automotive space.
On Monday, Amazon announced expanded vehicle integrations of its Alexa Auto voice assistant, new in-vehicle Alexa features, partnerships on the Alexa Auto software development kit and the international rollout of the Alexa-enabled Echo Auto device.
The company has been growing its Alexa Auto experience over the past few years. The voice assistant is available with several automaker brands and vehicles, but General Motors was the first automaker to announce it would fully integrate Alexa Auto. In September, GM said it would fully embed Alexa Auto into its vehicles for the 2018 model year and beyond.
At CES, Amazon announced that its fleet of 100,000 all-electric delivery vans—ordered from Plymouth, Michigan, startup Rivian in a deal announced in September—would integrate Alexa Auto.
Rivian will also integrate Alexa into its first two all-electric vehicles, the R1S and R1T.
Lamborghini is bringing Alexa to its Huracan Evo. The Rivian and Lamborghini integrations will roll out this year.
Amazon said its Echo Auto smart device will be launched internationally this year, including in India this month and a European rollout in February. The device was created for use in vehicles that don’t have Alexa Auto and for automakers that don’t plan to fully embed the assistant but want it available in their vehicles.
Working with suppliers
The tech giant also announced it would integrate its Alexa Auto software development kit with suppliers Bosch, Here, Melco, Telenav and TomTom for developers to increasingly integrate Alexa into in-vehicle infotainment systems.
Lastly, Amazon has expanded its cloud-based web services for automotive applications.
Amazon Web Services is working with BlackBerry to develop a connected-vehicle software platform for in-vehicle applications. The platform combines BlackBerry’s QNX automotive operating system with Amazon Web Services’ offerings in the cloud and in the vehicle.
Also related to the cloud, Amazon is partnering with software development company Unity Technologies to showcase Unity Simulation, a cloud service to test, train and validate an autonomous perception system.
Alexa St. John is a reporter for Automotive News