Rivian is integrated Amazon's Alexa voice service deep within the R1T pickup and R1S SUV.
It's 2020, and voice controllable virtual assistants are seeing tons of hype, with Amazon's Alexa leading the pack in the US market. Numerous automakers, including the likes of Ford and Toyota, have responded by allowing integration of Amazon's Alexa software with their in-car infotainment systems, unlocking many of the usual Alexa-compatible features from the driver's seat.
Electric vehicle startup Rivian is no different, with plans to integrate Amazon's Alexa voice service within its forthcoming electric R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. But the auto manufacturing newcomer is actually set to take things a bit further, with an announcement this week indicating a deeper level of integration than most automakers have heretofore attempted.
In a press release this week, Rivian said that Alexa will be "programmed directly into the vehicle's connected car system," allowing users to access vital vehicle functions like the HVAC system, power windows, remote front trunk (or "frunk") opening, and more, by issuing voice commands to Alexa. They'll even be able to remotely access embedded vehicle cameras using "screen-based devices like Echo Show and Fire TV," because sometimes, you're just too tired to walk out to the garage to check if you left your Hermes Orion suitcase in your Rivian R1T's bed.
And without going into details, Rivian also promised unique new "car-to-home" and "home-to-car" skills, and access to some in-car Alexa features even while the vehicle is offline.
Tesla, you listening?
Rivian's Alexa integration should come as little surprise given that Amazon led a $700-million funding round for Rivian in February of last year, subsequently announcing an order for 100,000 Rivian battery-electric delivery vans last August. Yet Rivian isn't the only automaker to announce such a deep level of integration for Amazon Alexa, as Italian supercar manufacturer Lamborghini had similar news to share at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show kicked off Tuesday, January 10th in Las Vegas, and will run through Friday, January 10th. The expo has become an increasingly important one for automakers in recent years as in-car infotainment systems grow ever more sophisticated and manufacturers grow increasingly concerned with how to leverage mobile internet, data, and artificial intelligence to solve issues of mobility.