"Say Siri again, I dare you, I double dare you..."
General Motors is upping the standards of its infotainment offering for all 2018 and newer cars, bringing in the integration of Amazon Alexa in-vehicle experience as standard functionality. The rollout will be coming in the first half of 2020 and will be applicable to all Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac vehicles with compatible infotainment systems. The decision comes on the back of research by GM that showed customers preferred utilizing the same voice recognition services in their cars as they use at home, with Amazon Alexa being one of the most popular and easy to integrate into modern vehicles.
Using the Alexa Auto Software Development Kit, customers will have access to Alexa's standard abilities, but it will also allow GM to create custom skills bespoke for certain vehicles and that meet customers' individual needs. In the meantime, however, the rollout of standard Alexa integration is seen as the broadest rollout of Alexa Auto to date, with the implementation affecting millions of vehicles.
Amazon Alexa allows drivers to enjoy their various entertainment functions without taking their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. They can check the news, control smart home devices like lights and thermostats, add items to their shopping lists, and access tens of thousands of Alexa skills. In-vehicle specific features include Alexa navigation, with turn-by-turn instructions in a range of available voices - one of which is that of Samuel L. Jackson telling you when to turn left in your Chevrolet Blazer, or your new mid-engined Corvette. You can additionally ask Alexa to play specific songs, artists, audiobooks, and podcasts, or make calls on your behalf.
The rollout of Alexa into GM products is the second such partnership between GM and Amazon. In 2018, General Motors launched an in-car delivery system utilizing Key by Amazon and a series of Alexa's Connected Car skills. The service was available on millions of eligible GM products in selected cities.
Customers wishing to integrate Alexa into their GM vehicles will have to wait a while though, as information on how to integrate the service will only be available closer to the rollout in 2020.