Announced at CES 2017, Volkswagen revealed that future cars will get Amazon Alexa built in to the infotainment system.
Why would you want Amazon Alexa in your car? Here’s some examples that Volkswagen and Amazon gave at the presentation. Firstly, you’re driving home and the temperature has dropped, so you ask Alexa to turn your heating on using your Internet-connected thermostat. You speak to your car, the Alexa software and your connected devices do the rest.
Another example was before you got in the car. Imagine that you’re in your house and you are about to set out on a journey to somewhere you’ve never been to before. You would normally find the postcode, climb in the car and type the postcode in to the sat nav. This new technology would allow you to ask you Amazon Echo device in the house to send the directions to your car without ever having to search for the postcode. You climb in the car, start the engine and your satnav is set up and ready to go.
By partnering with Amazon, Volkswagen hopes that they have chosen a service that allows drivers to operate their smartphone and smart devices with natural language recognition and the numerous companies that have opted to work alongside Amazon to make their hardware or services work with Alexa.
Even in the digital age, the Volkswagen objective remains the same: user operation must be easy, and the ergonomics perfect. It is with this goal in mind that we are continually developing the communication pathways between human and car,” says Frank Welsch, Head of Development for the Volkswagen brand.
It’s unclear whether Volkswagen will be bringing Amazon Alexa to their newest cars, starting with the brand-new infotainment systems in the upcoming 2017 Golf models, or whether they will keep this new technology for their vision of how cars should look and behave in 2020, starting with the Volkswagen I.D. concept car.