It’s getting easier to remote start a car without a bulky key fob.
General Motors has just made it possible to use your fingerprint to remote start your car from your phone.
And then there’s remote start by voice. This involves using Alexa (Amazon Echo) or Google Assistant (Google Home) to ask a device to remote start your vehicle.
VOXX said it is looking at integrating remote start with Alexa. In November, DroneMobile (Firstech) plans to offer full remote start by voice through Alexa.
DroneMobile is already off to a good start. It received 2,000 service commands in one week when it launched in early July a service allowing its smartphone remote start to unlock and lock the car doors by voice (as well as unlock the trunk, check the car battery and find your car). Recently, it added the same capability with Google Home or Google’s voice assistant, Google Assistant.
Hyundai recently announced its Genesis will work with Google Assistant in your phone so you can command your phone by voice to remote start your car from anywhere. And the service is free for 3 years. Hyundai already offers the same feature via Alexa.
Indications are that consumers love voice control. At least 10 million Amazon Echo speakers have sold to date permitting users handsfree voice shopping, online searching, music control, appliance control and more.
In fact, people are simply installing their Echo Dot speakers in their cars. It requires a portable hotspot to go with it, but some say it delivers better voice control than simply using an Android phone. And the Dot fits right in your cup holder. See Dot installation videos here and here (start at least 40 seconds in on this second one).
Ford announced earlier this year that by summer it will allow its Sync 3 to work Alexa via a new app that lets 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.
SiriusXM launched Alexa capability in June and said in one month, “hundreds of thousands” of its subscribers linked their accounts to Alexa, allowing them to receive SiriusXM in the home and on the go via voice command. You can say, “Alexa, play ‘The Highway’ on SiriusXM” to listen to that particular station.
By the way, voice control can help car audio dealers short-handed on help to run their shops. Joe O’Byrne of Brentwood Car Audio, CA is a fan. When he’s working on a car and a call comes in, he uses Alexa (via an Amazon Dot) to schedule appointments by voice, so he doesn’t have to leave the install to go to a desk.
“I do a lot of breathylizer installs and people call all day long. I’ll just pop out my head and tell Alexa to schedule an appointment for Wednesday at 3 pm. I have it linked to Google Calendar and that appointment shows up there on my phone or desktop…It’s always listening,” he said.
Photo: Google Home