Amazon is sending Alexa out into the wild as a software developer kit, meant to be used by manufacturers to help integrate the digital assistant into their upcoming infotainment systems. It's kind of a big deal.
Some vehicle manufacturers committed to bringingearlier this year, including Ford, BMW, Toyota and Volkswagen, but this SDK opens the playing field to others and should give a little cause for concern.
It's not just OEMs getting in on the fun either: LCD Soundsystem singalongs.like Anker and Garmin already have devices that bring Alexa to the car, but now the market will likely see quite a bit more choice. As someone who drives a 50-year-old car, this is especially interesting to me, though I shudder to think that somewhere in a deep, dark data center, Amazon is monitoring my
What is Amazon putting in the Alexa SDK? A lot, as it turns out, including speech recognition and synthesis, streaming media, smart home device control capabilities, notifications and weather reports. Alexa Auto will also let you do all the normal car infotainment stuff like calling, navigation and searching for local points of interest like restaurants and gas stations.
So, it's looking like we're staring into a bold new world in automotive infotainment, and I for one (because Alexa is probably monitoring me clandestinely as I write this) welcome it. If you're interested in playing with the Alexa Auto SDK, you can download it from GitHub.