Alexa, will you turn up the air conditioning?
You may soon be able to use your voice to unlock, turn on, and navigate your car to the nearest Whole Foods. Last week, Amazon released its Auto SDK, a new set of developer tools that will make it easier for automakers to incorporate Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa into their cars. Drivers will be able to take advantage of Alexa’s core skills like asking for the weather and streaming music, but the Auto SDK will also allow Alexa to integrate with infotainment systems, screens often used for navigation, media, and climate control. The developer kit is currently available for anyone to peruse on Github.
The announcement is another example of Big Tech’s push into the automobile space. As cars evolve into computers on wheels, providing the software that connects them to the cloud is a massive market opportunity for tech companies. Amazon has been building out its automotive unit to compete with Apple’s CarPlay and Alphabet’s Android Auto, which have each incorporated voice assistants into their tools for automakers.
Although Amazon has already partnered with a number of carmakers including Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz, the SDK will make it easier for any third-party developer who doesn’t have a preexisting relationship with Amazon to build skills using Alexa’s capabilities.
For Amazon, the car will become one more frontier to capture data on their customers.
Article By Simone Stolzoff