Automakers Using Virtual Assistants to Speed Up in the IoT Fast Lane

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PYMNTS.com Internet of Things Tracker for January reports on how Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen, are incorporating virtual assistants into to their vehicles’ designs.

Alexa is coming to a connected car near you. That’s the top story in PYMNTS.com’s Internet of Things Tracker report for January. Several automakers, including Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen, are working on incorporating virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home into the designs of upcoming connected vehicles. This will allow owners to issue voice commands like “Alexa, start the car” and “Alexa, set car thermostat to 75 degrees.” from anywhere using their Echo or Google Home devices or the mobile apps. Owners of hybrid and electric models can stop and start the charging process via Alexa as well.

“When we talk about the Internet of Things, on some level the car is a thing, and then with other experiences, the car has its own connection that can interact with other things,” he said. “In a sense, they’re trying to build this connected world,” Cason Grover, manager of Hyundai Motor America’s connected car program said in the report. “Just as I imagine anyone else making some kind of consumer good is having to work hard to keep up and keep things connected, we’re part of that. I think anyone who doesn’t do that is at great risk in the future.”

Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen have choosen Amazon Echo’s Alexa as their virtual assistant of choice, and Hyundai is also working on a new system that uses Google Home. It will allow users to search for nearby restaurants or other businesses and have the address automatically sent to their GPS system. Alexa will be available in all 2017 models and as an upgrade in several 2016 model Hyundais and the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, Sonata and Azera. A $99 annual subscription to Blue Link is required.

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