Ford is using its Sync 3 infotainment head unit, included in most Ford vehicles, to integrate Alexa.
Although it wasn't attending the expo in any formal capacity, Amazon has managed to be everywhere at CES thanks to its virtual personal assistant Alexa.
Although the Ford Sync system can already understand voice commands from the driver, Ford's partnering with Amazon suggests it sees greater potential in letting the retail giant's development of Alexa take over some of the heavy lifting. Plug-in electric vehicle owners will be able to start or stop the engine, lock doors, check range and status, or check fuel level.
- The 6-year-old North Texas girl who made headlines earlier this week after asking Amazon's Alexa to order her a dollhouse and cookies has turned the incident into something positive. Later this month it will allow drivers to connect to their vehicle via their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap.
Chrysler Portal Concept - the millennial autonomous electric auto
Cameras in the dash are capable of facial recognition and can prompt the system to adapt any setting to the driver's profile. The concept is 20 inches shorter than the Pacifica, but it offers space for six passengers on thin seats mounted on rails.
The Alexa integration will happen in two phases beginning with connecting to the vehicle from in-home devices like Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap later this month, and then in the summer Ford is expected to roll out Alexa voice control inside certain models. News of Ford's integration plans nearly seems like it should be more surprising and momentous, but when you can already find Alexa in a refrigerator, seeing Alexa move into cars isn't so surprising at all.
A company like Ford probably could develop something similar to Alexa on its own, or work with another company, like IBM, to enable these functions. Alexa will then pull up past orders from the customer's order history and will list meal options based on that. Each device will come with a 4K resolution, 3GB of RAM, 16GB internal memory for apps, and a remote control with integrated microphone that doubles as a direct line to Amazon's Alexa digital assistant.
As for integrations, GeekWire reports that Alexa has reached more than 7,000 product integrations to date, up from 1,000 back in June.
But, the big win for LG is a partnership with Amazon to get Alexa in the fridge.