Amazon Revs Up Auto Ambitions With In-Car TV, Alexa Integration

Amazon unveiled its plans on Monday to be the largest player in the automotive sector, announcing partnerships that would put the Fire TV platform in vehicles and provide more services through its digital assistant Alexa.

In an announcement before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Amazon said it would allow car owners without using the built-in Alexa to add a smart car assistant through the mobile app.

Amazon said that the “Echo Auto” program for voice assistant will be launched this month in at least 15 countries.

Another new feature that will be introduced this year will allow motorists to fuel by saying “Alexa, pay for gas” at about 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations.

The news comes with Amazon, Google and others who are fighting to outperform the market for voice-related technology for a range of smart devices.

“At Amazon, we believe sound is the easiest and most natural way to interact with technology,” the company said in a blog post as it prepared to open its automatic booth at the Sprawling Electronics Show on Tuesday.

“We’ve seen many examples of how Alexa made life easier and more comfortable for customers, and now we’re focused on bringing Alexa outdoors – starting from the car.”

Amazon also said that the Fire TV platform would be offered for in-car entertainment, with BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles among those providing the service.

Alexa digital assistant has already been an advantage in many auto brands, but Monday’s announcement highlights broader ambitions in the sector.

Amazon said Lamborghini would integrate Alexa into its Huracan Evo group, and it would integrate Revian electric car maker Alexa into its Amazon trucks.

Amazon said the AWS Cloud Computing unit is working with BlackBerry – a former smartphone maker who now focuses on software – to develop a connected vehicle software platform for in-car applications.

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