U.S. owners of 2018 and newer model vehicles of General Motor Co from next year will be able to download Alexa, an Amazon.com’s digital assistant software, to control navigation system, phones and streaming media while driving, the companies said in a statement mid last week.
The deal will not only give Amazon an access to millions of vehicles running on the roads but will also substantially expand its Alexa franchise, but pushing Alexa in vehicles covers only one expect of the broader strategy of Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, who is in pursuit of extending the scope of Amazon into the transportation industry.
GM also remained embracing widely-used technology industry brands in its vehicles and new deal with Amazon is the latest in a series of moves it has already made. GM and other automakers, for years, have been trying developing in-house infotainment technology using automotive suppliers, but the results of those efforts came attracting much of the criticism from customers, who embraced popular digital assistants like Alexa, Apple Inc’s Siri or Google Voice.
Earlier in last month, GM also unveiled that from 2021 it would start using technology from Alphabet Inc’s Google in dashboards of vehicles selling around the world except China.
Ultimately, customers will be available with options of choosing voice assistance services of their own whether it would be vehicle’s standard voice controller, Google, Alexa or any other app built-in their smartphones, said GM’s vice president for Global Connected Services Santiago Chamorro.
Amazon believes in a future where customers have options to choose from different voice assistant available, said Ned Curic, Amazon’s Vice President of Alexa Auto.
It will be first half of next year when Alexa software will become available to owners of GM vehicles for downloading in to their vehicles, said GM.
As the current deal does not cover the GM’s sales in China for which Chamorro said that for China, GM has another China-specific solution and company is working on it.