Amazon drives deeper into cars with new Alexa partners, Echo Auto expansion

Amazon is no longer content trying to dominate the home. The ecommerce giant made several announcements Monday ahead of CES 2020 that target the car, including partnerships with Lamborghini and Rivian, new auto-specific skills for its Alexa voice assistant, a market expansion for its Echo Auto device and a plan to bring its latest Fire TV edition into future BMW and Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

Amazon has been honing in on the automotive industry for the past several years, a strategy that has included a direct investment in EV startup Rivian as well as a push to bring its Alexa voice assistant into vehicles either through integration or through its Echo Auto device.

Now it’s ramping up those efforts — and from every angle.

Rivian and Lamborghini made separate announcements Monday about bringing Alexa into their respective vehicles. But that’s just the tip of Amazon’s latest push into automotive. Amazon will launch Echo Auto into new markets outside of the U.S. year, starting with India on January 15. Other countries to follow later this year, the company said.

Amazon said it will bring the latest Fire TV edition into car infotainment systems, beginning with future BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles. The company also announced new auto-specific skills to its voice assistant, including the ability for drivers to pay for gas at all 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations by saying “Alexa, pay for gas.”

Amazon is also targeting other voice-driven experiences in the car and announced new integrations with companies that offer navigation services like Bosch, mapping companies HERE and TomTom, Telenav and MELCO.

Amazon is even selling automotive companies such as Blackberry and Unity Technologies on using Amazon Web Services. AWS and Amazon Vehicles are also partnering with Cadillac and ZeroLight to demonstrate a new car-buying concept featuring the Cadillac XT6 at CES 2020. The showcase uses personalized digital
experiences to guide a customer through each stage of purchasing a vehicle.

Last year, General Motors said it is adding Amazon Alexa to the infotainment systems of its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in the first half of 2020.