Toyota will add Amazon Alexa to select cars in 2018
SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Toyota Motor Corp. Lexus LC 500h hybrid vehicle stands on display during the press day of the Seoul Motor Show in Goyang, South Korea, on Thursday, March 30, 2017.
The feature will be available in all Toyota and Lexus cars that have the Toyota Entune 3.0 App Suite and Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 in 2018.
The company will add the feature to additional models in 2019. Toyota announced the news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“This makes Toyota and Lexus vehicles among the first to bring the convenience of Alexa into the car and onto the road,” said Zack Hicks, senior vice president and chief information officer at Toyota Motor North America and CEO of Toyota Connected.
Customers will be able to access Alexa’s range of skills — as its voice applications are called — while in the car. So apart from asking it some of the usual things, such as playing music or giving a weather report, passengers can also use the service to interact with smart-home devices to turn lights on in their homes or open their garage doors. Users can also ask it to identify nearby businesses in the middle of a trip and offer directions to them.
The service will also enable new features in the cars themselves, such the ability to start the engine remotely or lock the car doors, by giving a command through another Alexa device in the home or elsewhere.