Listening to podcasts in some General Motors models is about to get easier. GM has announced that it will bring Amazon Alexa to millions of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles via the new in-vehicle Alexa in the first half of 2020. With embedded 4G LTE connectivity and GM’s updateable embedded app framework in the vehicle, the carmaker will make Alexa available to model year 2018 and newer cars, trucks and crossovers with compatible infotainment systems.
The move means a driver simply needs to ask Alexa to play a specific podcast, song, artist, genre, station or audiobooks. Alexa can fulfill the request by bringing up available streaming services.
“Customers already love using Alexa at home, and soon they can bring her with them on the go,” said Ned Curic, VP of Alexa Auto at Amazon. “We’re thrilled to be working with GM to help their customers stay more connected, more entertained and more productive.”
General Motors last year launched in-car delivery with Key by Amazon and a series of Connected Car skills for Alexa, available on eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in select cities.
Voicebot notes “most automakers have been loath to give up their own assistant where they can control the data and experience,” but Amazon designed its Alexa Auto software to be flexible so automakers can employ Alexa in whatever manner best meets their objectives.
“GM research shows that many customers prefer to use the same voice services they use in their home in their vehicles,” the company explained in the announcement. The Alexa voice experience in GM vehicles will utilize an Alexa Auto Software Development Kit, which gives customers access to standard Alexa skills and capabilities, while also allowing GM to create proprietary custom skills in the future that are specific to the vehicle. “This collaboration represents the broadest rollout of an embedded Alexa Auto experience to date, and provides a tailored voice experience for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac drivers with properly equipped vehicles,” it said.
Santiago Chamorro, VP for GM’s Global Connected Services, said the automaker’s updateable app framework and vehicle connectivity allows GM to provide customers with new technologies that enhance the ownership experience, even to customers with vehicles that are already on the road.