General Motors Canada will offer customers the ability to add Amazon Alexa Auto through the infotainment systems on select vehicles.
Owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles with compatible systems from the model year 2018 and newer will be able to get the voice-controlled virtual assistant added to their vehicle, GM Canada said Monday.
Customers will be able to link their Amazon Alexa account to the vehicle and access it via the voice command button on the steering wheel or through an icon on the touch screen.
In 2018, Amazon released the Alexa Auto Software Development Kit, which gave automakers and suppliers a way to integrate Alexa's core functions into in-vehicle infotainment systems. GM was the first to install Alexa in its U.S. vehicles through the kit.
GM said in late 2019 that Alexa Auto would be available in the United States and arrive in Canada some time in mid-2020.
Alex Auto will use the embedded available 4G LTE connectivity the automaker’s vehicles and GM’s updateable, embedded app framework.
Alexa powers Amazon devices such as the Echo and Echo Show. It plays music, provides real-time information, serves as a home automation system and more.
Alex Auto will assist with navigation and points of interest; play songs, podcasts or audiobooks; and contacts in the Amazon Alexa app and make phone calls via Bluetooth.
Research company eMarketer in 2019 found that 5.8 million Canadians use a smart speaker at least once a month – an increase of 51 per cent from the previous year.
“Now more than ever, we are looking for ways to help our customers stay more connected as they start to get back on the road,” said Mike Speranzini, director, Global Connected Services & Customer Experience, GM Canada. “Bringing the Alexa experience to our Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles is a prime example of how we are listening to our customers’ feedback and enhancing the ownership experience by offering the voice technology of their choice.”