Amazon is taking Alexa, their popular and innovative cloud-computing voice service, to the roads in 2018 by partnering with GPS technology leader Garmin and luxury car company BMW.
In this advanced digital age, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become more commonplace. HOBI International, Inc. president Craig Boswell has often presented on the growth, movement, and intricacy of IoT at a number of trade shows and expos. With technology introducing new advanced capabilities every year, it is not hard to believe that a countless number of people opt to use sophisticated virtual assistants like Alexa in both professional and personal spaces.
Amazon, however, finds that the most important place where people need assistance is in the car, where your hands and eyes are the most preoccupied. Therefore, to make driving an easier and more enjoyable task, Amazon is currently preparing to launch two sophisticated and advanced products with BMW and Garmin respectively.
Last month, BMW announced it would be one of the first automakers to incorporate Amazon’s Alexa into its vehicles. Microphones will be embedded into the car with Alexa’s visual content displayed on the head unit. Drivers will simply need to provide voice commands for Alexa to respond. From checking the car’s fuel level to ordering your favorite drink at Starbucks, Alexa will easily take care of all the driver’s needs without the driver ever needing to redirect their focus off the road. Alexa will be available in all of BMW’s 2018 model year vehicles.
More recently, Garmin, the leading GPS technology company, announced they will also be partnering with Amazon to launch Garmin Speak in mid-2018. Modeled to look like a palm-sized Amazon Echo, Garmin Speak allows the high functionality of Alexa paired with the highly regarded navigation capabilities of Garmin. Garmin Speak is simply mounted to the windshield using an adhesive magnetic mount that can easily be removed and reattached. Once connected to Bluetooth within the vehicle, the driver can easily ask Alexa or Garmin to perform commands. Using a simple black and white OLED display, Garmin Speak removes the distracting and complicated images of maps most GPS and navigational systems use.
By pairing Alexa with Garmin and BMW, Amazon is hoping to appeal to all demographics of the market. Whether one can afford the cheapest BMW, which starts at $30,000 or Garmin Speak, which is priced at $150, Amazon is making Alexa easily accessible to all.
That said, one can deduce that 2018 will more than likely experience a change in traffic and driver behavior. While it can’t be determined just yet if it will be for the better or worse, it can be said Amazon is working towards ensuring drivers never get lost or lonely on the roads.