Ford has teamed up with Amazon to bring Alexa into its cars, the automaker announced at a press dinner at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The integration will let Ford users with SYNC 3 access Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, inside the car to do things like check the weather, play audiobooks, add items to shopping lists, and even control Alexa enabled smart home devices.
For example, you could tell Alexa to set your smart thermometer to a certain temperature or turn on the lights at your house while you’re driving. Ford will begin rolling out this feature in its vehicles with SYNC 3 this summer.
What’s more though, the automaker also announced that owners of some vehicles will be able to also use Alexa while at home to perform certain vehicle functions beginning later this month.
Owners of the Ford Focus Electric, Fusion Energi, and the C-MAX Energi will soon be able to use their Amazon Echo or Dot at home to do things like lock or start the car remotely by simply saying “Alexa, ask my FordMobile to lock my car,” or “Alexa, ask my FordMobile to start my car.”
Owners of these vehicles will also be able to check the range of their vehicle using Alexa voice commands.
Ford said it plans to offer these Alexa-to-vehicle commands in more vehicles with SYNC Connect at a later date.
The integration is made possible by Ford’s SYNC 3 AppLink, which is a linking technology that connects your smartphone and its applications to the car’s controls system and display.
Last year at CES, Ford showed off concepts of ways Alexa could be used with a connected vehicle, but the company said it decided to actually pursue the integration because it’s what made most sense for its customers.
“We’re looking for what is going to deliver the best experience inside the vehicle, and we are looking to embrace technology. We are not running away from technology, we are not afraid of it,” Don Butler, Ford’s executive director of connected vehicle and services, told Business Insider. “We want to deliver what is best for customers.”
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