At CES, the smart speaker craze came to the aftermarket.
Google announced its Assistant voice control is now available on all Android Auto car radios. We’ve been told this applies to older Android Auto models from past years, as well.
For the aftermarket that puts “Hey Google” voice control on radios from Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine, Sony, JVC and others.
In new cars Android Auto and now Google Assistant is in tens of millions of cars on more than 400 models from 40-plus brands, including Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Volkswagen and Volvo.
“With the Assistant in Android Auto, you can listen to your playlists from apps like Spotify or Google Play Music, get quick directions from Google Maps or Waze, and send or receive messages from services like WhatsApp. And soon, you’ll be able to reserve a parking space with SpotHero or order your favorite handcrafted drink or food from Starbucks—all from the road,” said a Google Blog.
On the home side, users can also control the car from the livingroom by voice. They can check fuel levels, lock doors and more.
Then there’s Amazon’s Alexa. As we reported earlier, Boss Audio and Soundstream announced new radios due this year to support Alexa in the car. Leading car audio companies including Pioneer, Kenwood and Alpine said they are looking into offering Alexa in future car radios. Compustar’s DroneMobile remote start/security systems also support both Alexa and Google Assistant.
At CES, Panasonic announced a new OEM infotainment system that lets user ask Alexa to change the car’s temperature settings, or control the windows and other commands, reported Engadget.
Soundstream’s Paul Goldberg said the company is working on Alexa control of a car’s windshield wipers and other functions.
Smart speakers with voice control by Alexa, Google Assistant, and others, are one of the fastest growth segments in consumer electronics. Sales of the voice controlled speakers shot up almost 300 percent in 2017. The Consumer Technology Association projects 2018 unit sales will reach 43.6 million units (a 60 percent increase), hitting $3.8 billion in revenue.