Your new road trip buddy will be able to travel with you everywhere, but won't take up the passenger seat. Thanks to a recently announced partnership between Ford Motor Company and Amazon, millions of consumers who own an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will be able to take Alexa - the Echo's voice command integration - out of the home and into the streets.
Now, the possibilities to utilize one's Amazon account are nearly limitless. Ford owners will be able to play and resume audiobooks on the go, search for and manage local destinations within the in-car navigation system, and even order items while driving. Taking the integration a step further, Ford drivers can also start, lock or unlock doors and call up vehicle information from their homes without setting a foot into the driveway or garage.
Don Butler, Ford's executive director of Ford Connected Vehicle and Services, stated his confidence for what's to come with the collaboration in a Ford press release. “Ford and Amazon are aligned around a vision that your voice should be the primary way to interface with your favorite devices and services,” he said. “Customers will be able to start their vehicles from home, and manage smart home features while on the road – making life easier.”
The Alexa integration will take effect in two phases; the first (available in late January) will facilitate connection from one's home to his or her vehicle through the Amazon Echo, EchoDot and/or Tap. Phase two of the rollout will kick off in summer 2017, enabling drivers to engage a wide range of Alexa capabilities using voice commands. Through this integration, Ford hopes to promote both safety and efficiency, since it'll allow drivers to stay focused.
As Steve Rabuchin, the vice president, Amazon Alexa, said in the same release, “We’re excited to work with Ford to enhance the driver experience both inside and outside of the vehicle. We believe voice is the future, and this is particularly true in cars.” Learn more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington!