Innovation

Amazon on-the-go: Alexa is finally coming to the connected car

Panasonic is teaming up with Amazon to allow drivers to interact with the digital assistant in their car.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Panasonic is working with Amazon to bring Alexa, including some internet-free options, to the car.
  • Business professionals would be able to stay connected while driving, with access to regular Alexa skills and features to control the car's environment.

Alexa may be natively embedded in your next new car purchase, Panasonic announced Monday at CES 2018.

The company is working with Amazon to offer the digital assistant in cars, with some of its capabilities built into the car. Business professionals may be able to stay connected safely while on the road with access to news updates, emails, and other Alexa skills.

The integration will be optimized for a car environment, with some of the capabilities not requiring an internet connection, the press release said. The driver would be able to use Alexa to adjust interior elements of the car, including the radio volume, navigation, and heat.

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Alexa would also be able to control things at the driver's home, including warming up the house while driving home.

"When drivers have access to familiar Alexa contextual commands and responses from inside the car, it opens up a new world of experiences OEMs can offer - enabling some of these capabilities even without an Internet connection is revolutionary," Tom Gebhardt, President of Panasonic Corporation of North America, said in the release.

The assistant is enabled through Alexa Onboard and Panasonic Skip Generation IVI technology, the latter of which was unveiled at CES 2017.

SEE: CES 2018: The Big Trends for Business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature)

The company didn't say which car manufacturers will offer Alexa or a timeline for its release, according to our sister site ZDNet.

Panasonic isn't the only company hoping to bring Alexa to drivers at CES 2018. Speak Music unveiled Muse, a $69 device that uses Bluetooth and an in-car power source so users can access Alexa. Muse uses an audio channel on the car's radio and uses a cord, but may be another option for professionals trying to stay connected while driving.

CES 2018 is showing the reach of the Alexa voice service, as it expands past smart speakers and into laptops, PCs, and cars. With smart speakers the fastest growing consumer tech, the expansion is potentially giving Amazon a leg up in the digital assistant market.

Also see

19muse.jpg

Muse connects Alexa to a car via a power source.

Image: Andrew Krok/Roadshow

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is an Education Reporter at Insider Louisville.

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