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Amazon Enters the Car

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You thought Amazon’s convenient shop-from-home online model was a threat; now we’ll be shopping from the car.

Starting this summer, Ford’s Sync 3 will be compatible with Amazon’s Alexa via a new app that will let you use the steering wheel controls or radio screen to launch into Alexa mode.  Then you can order products from Amazon as you drive, or access bank accounts, or operate the home lights/heating, etc.  You’ll be able to do anything in the car you can do in the home with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa voice assistant, said Ford at CES.

Volkswagen will even let you ask Alexa to change the radio station, says Jalopnik.  VW announced at CES its vehicles will be compatible with Alexa in the future, allowing shopping from the car and the ability to ask Alexa questions as you drive.

VW is also connecting to the home through DoorBird, which alerts you when anyone is at your home and ringing the video doorbell. You control the system from the car screen.  This also lets you control home lighting from the car. You can even set the system to alert you if you leave something important at home.  “A trigger or connecting a phone causes the app to initiate a search for all objects and devices linked to the app with small Bluetooth tags,” said VW.

Inrix is offering an Alexa platform to its OEM partners who want to include Alexa’s voice assistant in their cars.

Hyundai already uses Alexa (since last summer in the Genesis) to remote start your car from the home by voice and perform a limited number of functions that don’t yet include shopping.

And BMW also offers some Alexa capabilities including remote start from the home by voice as well as checking battery charges and fuel levels or remotely locking the car door.

Alexa was seen everywhere at CES, not just the car.  Some of the new devices with Alexa capability include TVs, an LG refrigerator, a lamp from GE, and a dancing robot, according to The Verge.






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  1. I am reminded of the observations in the very early days of the PC… “Who the hell needs one of these thing in their house?” I also recall selling the very early mobile phones in 1982, Yes in LA and DC they were first available then… “Are you kidding me! The only place I can have some peace and quiet is in my car. No car phone for me!”

    Regarding my wife… I know who she’s with by viewing the indoor/outdoor security camera system on my phone as I am driving home…

    We pooh-pooh and ignore new ideas and technology at our own peril. We should think about how to embrace and more importantly incorporate this stuff into what we can sell to and install for our consumers and make a profit doing it.

    Maybe my consumer will want to turn the Jacuzzi on by voice as he nears home, perhaps your consumer would like to open the garage door and turn on appropriate lights by voice as he/she approaches the house, could be the consumer will want to use his/her Alexa thing to change the next Blue Apron meal because she just changed her apatite when driving by the Chinese restaurant.

    If this technology is going to be here. And if this technology is going to be used by my consumer, I want a piece of that business. In fact, I’d like to be the guy introducing it to and teaching consumers about it. I think it is special to introduce and teach the new stuff. I contend that is part of the reason we call it SPECIALTY RETAIL.

  2. My hope is that they invested many millions into this project. Four or five deadly celebrity auto incidents should be enough to initiate a ban and full dismantling of such rubbish. Come people wake up really.

  3. Kind of agree with gary. It seems like more distractions as we drive around. I know I’d rather have people focused on driving than thinking about what they need to shop for as they drive. I get the appeal of the technology and certainly see the advantages in a home or office environment but not sure I’m sold on in the car especially while driving. Interested to see other opinions though.

  4. I cannot see anyone with an iq over 90 using this product. my goal is to just get home with the contemptuous drivers on the road with me. it is too far ahead of its time. the work load is already horrendous. just need to drive the car not see who is at home with my wife.

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