Ford Motors Co. used the CES 2017 stage to announce an industry-first collaboration.
Ford is incorporating Amazon Echo into its vehicles.
The addition of Alexa voice assistant to hardware will allow consumers to interact with those machines by saying something like, "Alexa, how much time is left on my wash cycle?" rather than visiting the laundry room. The partnership is further evidence that Amazon hopes to position Alexa as being a critical home companion. Brooke also learned even before her mom did that it can order just about anything online if it's linked to an Amazon account and credit card.
The second stage will come along this summer, and will enable a range of Alexa voice commands in-car.
"Ford and Amazon are aligned around a vision that your voice should be the primary way to interface with your favorite devices and services". A number of brands have already integrated with Alexa via skills, or the mini apps that drive engagement, and the deal with Ford will open up new ways for brands to reach users. Users can listen to audiobooks inside the vehicle, search and transfer local destinations to navigation, request news, play music, add items to Amazon shopping lists and more. Drivers of the Ford Focus Electric, Fusion Energi, and C-Max Energi will be the first vehicle owners to gain the ability to speak with Alexa.
Using this system, Ford owners will be able to do all the usual stuff you do with a voice assistant, plus it will be able to connect with Alexa-enabled smart home devices as well.
Ford also announced that AT&T will be powering its embedded 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, which supports up to 10 simulatenously connected devices, though details on pricing and availability weren't provided. The LTE hotspot will be powered by AT&T's 4G and will be able to power devices up to 50 devices away.