One of the reasons Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have proven so popular is they integrate a technology into the car that the customer is already familiar with. When users see the familiar Apple icons populate the infotainment screen, the excitement builds for them. “I know these icons! I see them every day! I’ll actually be able to figure this infotainment system out!” It sure beats the days of struggling with inputting single characters with a click wheel into a nav system, only to have the unit not find the address you are looking for.
Amazon’s Alexa takes this familiarity one step further, for those who use the service in the house. Having Alexa in the vehicle and asking it for the traffic, weather, or favorite podcast sure makes it easy for the end user. Alexa-philes know how to communicate with her. Alexa can even add a whole new level of connectivity and an easy-to-use interface – customers will be able to control home automation from their vehicle, or their vehicle from their house. Being able to shut the garage door after you pull out, or remote-starting your car on a cold day just by asking Alexa, is the ultimate luxury for Amazon-obsessed customers.
Next year, GM is making Alexa available on model-year 2018 and newer vehicles though an over-the-air firmware update through GM’s 4G LTE connectivity initiative and embedded-app framework. The update is scheduled to roll out during the first half of 2020. Heavy Alexa users are already excited, so hopefully there will be no unexpected rollout delays.