Alexa

By: Nick Gambino

Alexa will soon be available in all-new Ford vehicles, the automaker announced on Thursday. A simple voice command will allow drivers to call up the Amazon assistant to perform the same functions as she would at home on your Echo.

“Alexa, what’s the weather today?” or “Alexa, what’s the traffic like on my commute?” saves you having to sit in your car and look it up before you start driving. And because there are those who are a little less risk-averse, it’ll save them looking at their phone while they drive.

While Alexa has been available in some Ford cars for the last four years, it’s a lot like CarPlay, you have to have just the right set-up to use it. It was far from user-friendly and nothing like using Alexa on your Echo at home. With the digital assistant now built directly into the infotainment screen, all you need is your voice, no having to press a button.

And while commands related to your car such as traffic and playing music is handy, Alexa will be able to do a lot more from within your Ford vehicle. You can ask her to add something to your shopping list or perform a function with one of your Alexa-enabled IoT devices at home.

And again, while that’s all cool, Alexa performs yet another function. You can look up info about your car in the Alexa app and even ask her to turn on the heat or A/C.

This is very similar to the Tesla app which allows me to check up on my car and control things before I even get in. By utilizing an established third-party assistant, Ford can get in on this market without having to build their own app.

The Amazon digital assistant will be built into all Ford cars going forward, starting with 700,000 vehicles this year. And it’s not just going to be available with premium packages. When you purchase any one of their cars, you’ll be able to use Alexa for free for three years. Presumably, if you have Prime, you won’t have to pay anything additional when your three years are up.

This six-year deal is big news for both Ford and Amazon.