CES 2020: Amazon, BMW and FCA are teaming up to bring Fire TV to your car

Say goodbye to clunky OEM rear-seat infotainment and hello to Amazon Fire TV.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
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Amazon is going to be heating up BMW's rear-seat screen situation with its Fire TV platform soon.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Seatback TV screens were always one of those things that I assumed would die out when MTV's Pimp My Ride did, but instead, the technology continues on, and if you're in the market for a new BMW or perhaps something from the Fiat Chrysler stable, that tech is about to get a big upgrade.

Specifically, Amazon announced at CES 2020 in Las Vegas that it (alongside Garmin and Voxx) is partnering with both BMW and FCA to offer Fire TV on their rear-seat entertainment screens. What exactly does this mean for consumers?

Well, first of all, the Fire TV system will be able to stream from Wi-Fi and the car's built-in LTE connection, but Amazon also plans to offer offline viewing -- which means that your progeny's Steven Universe binge on the way to Grandma's house three hours away won't bankrupt you.

It also means that Amazon is now working its way into your car more than ever before. Sure, Alexa integration has become more and more commonplace recently -- with Rivian and being among the most recent to include it in their vehicles -- but having an OS along with content on a screen is a lot different than just offering a digital assistant.

Amazon Fire Edition TVs stream apps and speak Alexa

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Could Amazon have its sights set on becoming the next big thing in in-car infotainment? Could it offer a phone brand-agnostic infotainment interface like  Apple's   CarPlay  or  Google's   Android Auto  that runs via an app?

As cars become more connected, the chance to monetize aspects of the driving experience like placing orders for groceries during your commute or paying for coffee at Starbucks become more common, and Amazon has historically been pretty good at insinuating itself into things like that.

In the meantime, FCA and BMW have been relatively noncommittal as to which of their vehicles would be the first to receive Fire TV and when. Still, we'd bet dollars to donuts that it's going to start with SUV and minivan offerings before trickling down to  crossovers  and cars.

All the cool car stuff at CES 2020

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