Ford Motor is enlarging the use of Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa personal assistant in its vehicles to permit drivers to talk to their cars – demanding somehow from a nearly cheeseburger to a weather forecast – specifying a leap by the Detroit automaker to incorporate a technology startlingly aimed for home use.
The enlarging alliance between Ford and Amazon, declared at the CES tech show in Las Vegas, underscores the inquest to both automakers and internet commerce companies of connecting consumers on the step to a richer array of digital services.
Ford’s executive director Don Butler stated that “deepest integration of any OEM (carmaker) inside a vehicle with Alexa.” The two companies are talking about how to carry the Alexa partnership further, according to Butler. “Digital assistant is one tool that is increasingly prevalent in the industry,” he added.
Rival General Motors plans to enroll out IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence software in its OnStar system early next year in order to market services to drivers in their cars. Similarly, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz will employ Alphabet Inc’s Google Assistant, a rival product, to permit car owners interact with their vehicles from home via Google Home.
Ford’s impress follows its October announcement that it would use Alexa in three of its vehicle models to allow drivers to interface with their smart home devices, such as heaters, lights or security systems. Automotive personal assistants are being studied by every larger automaker, according to Gartner research director Michael Ramsey claimed: “There’s a lot of vetting going on.”