KITT, the talking car from Knight Rider, is well on its way to becoming a reality.
Ford announced at CES it is teaming up with Amazon to bring Alexa to its new models. The personal voice assistant will enable drivers to listen to audiobooks, navigate, request news, play music, and even purchase things off Amazon, all hands-free from behind the wheel. As in the current voice recognition systems, users will simply tap a button from the steering wheel to engage, but in upcoming Ford models, they’ll ask for “Alexa.”
Alexa will integrate with Ford’s SYNC and AppLink. Its internet connectivity will allow for remote smart home functions like adjusting lighting, monitoring security systems, opening garage doors, and giving commands to other Alexa smart home devices. From home, Amazon Echo owners can remotely start their cars, lock or unlock its doors, and get vehicle information like mileage or charge status and fuel levels (for electric and gas-powered models, respectively).
“We’re excited to work with Ford to enhance the driver experience both inside and outside of the vehicle,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Amazon Alexa. “We believe voice is the future, and this is particularly true in cars. The ability to use your voice to control your smart home, access entertainment, manage to-do lists and more makes for an extraordinary driving experience.”
Ford will roll out its Alexa integration in two phases. The first, available later this month, will let you control your car from home using devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. Voice commands while driving will become available this summer.
H/T New York Times