Ford Motor Company is working with Amazon to incorporate the Amazon Echo and Alexa assistant into some of its new vehicles. The synergy creates conveniences for car sharing and tasks like checking battery power, but the promise of voice activation with broader features is really the promise of safety. Texting while driving is a dangerous epidemic, and Alexa may be one solution, especially as it grows in car-friendly capability.
Ford will begin by syncing Alexa with new Fusion models, with capabilities like turning the car on and off and locking and unlocking. But Ford and Amazon envision the future car’s interior environment to be a voice-controlled command center just like the home Echo. You can tell your car to stream the movie for the kids in the back, or turn down the heat in your home. “We don’t want consumers picking up their smartphone and texting inside the vehicles,” says Don Butler, executive director of Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. Butler wrote an article for CIO magazine back in 2015 outlining three critical aspects of car connectivity for Ford: “beamed in, brought in and built in because consumers are increasingly connected and living digital lifestyles.” Amazon is helping Butler fulfill his goals.