CarandBike reports that Ford will soon start offering an Amazon Echo-sourced in-car Alexa personal assistant on many of its models. It is said that the new feature will be introduced in the carmaker's Indian lineup by 2020. The network connectivity will be through either a SIM card or via a smartphone paired to the infotainment unit.
So far, the carmaker has marketed Microsoft-sourced Sync systems as one of the biggest USPs of its vehicles. The in-car Alexa personal assistant, however, will further enhance the connectivity options. The Amazon-sourced virtual personal assistant will be a segment-first across the carmaker's model lineup. The new system will work in conjunction with the Sync unit.
The Alexa voice assist system will be integrated into the Microsoft Sync3 AppLink and will recognise multiple languages. Reportedly, the company is fine-tuning the system to even support various Indian dialects. The latest AppLink system is based on the Smart Device Link open source software that enables developers to pair it with Alexa.
The In-car Alexa personal assistant will provide the user access to traffic updates, destination information, news, music, and various other features. Occupants can use the feature to listen to audiobooks, stream music, get weather updates, etc. It will be even possible to link the In-car Alexa with the Amazon Echo's home device. This will allow the user to use internet-based features such as controlling the house lighting, security system, and garage doors. Finally, the virtual personal assistant will even allow electric and hybrid car owners to remotely start-stop their car's engine, lock and unlock the doors and monitor parameters like battery range and charging status.
Earlier this month, Ford India introduced the 2019 Ford Figo (facelift). The mid-cycle makeover brings in a host of styling changes and a handful of additional features. Interestingly, the company kept from offering the SYNC 3 unit on the refreshed model. Instead, the facelift is available with a low-cost 7.0-inch Fly-sourced unit that doesn't offer either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
[Source - auto.ndtv.com]