Amazon’s Fire TV streaming platform is coming to more cars, the company announced today at CES. In the fourth quarter last year, Stellantis became the first automaker to integrate Fire TV for in-car entertainment with its new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and is now bringing the entertainment experiences to Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler Pacifica, as well. In addition, Fire TV will come built-in on Ford Expedition* and Lincoln Navigator’s 2022 models, Amazon said.
Automakers are able to customize their Fire TV experience to do things like integrate with the car’s audio systems or its comfort controls in order to offer unique features designed for their vehicles.
The version of Fire TV for autos works to take advantage of Alexa’s hands-free options, so passengers — or parents looking to pull up a show for the kids in the back — can easily play content by speaking voice commands. Parents can also select content from the front seat that plays for the rear passengers. And if there are multiple screens in the back, that content can be shown on all screens at the same time. If, however, the kids can’t agree on a program to watch, Fire TV lets the rear passengers watch individual content on each display. Viewers can listen to their shows and movies through Bluetooth or wired headphones, or over the car’s speakers, if desired.
Users can also ask Alexa on Fire TV to show their Ring doorbell video, by saying things like “Alexa, show me the front door,” among other voice commands.
In the U.S., Fire TV users will have access to more than 1 million TV episodes and movies, including those from Prime Video. And because cellular signals aren’t always reliable when traveling, Fire TV for autos will allow for offline viewing through support for downloads.
The system will also soon be updated to catch up to the consumer experience for Fire TV in the home where the company has rolled out support for personalized profiles with their own recommendations and an updated home screen experience. With this update, Fire TV customers will be able to pause their shows at home, then pick up viewing in the car where they left off, notes Amazon.
Amazon has been working to bring Fire TV to more cars for some time. In 2020, it partnered with BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to offer hands-free Alexa and the ability to stream Fire TV in cars, while adding new auto-focused Alexa voice commands, like “Alexa, pay for gas,” which allows customers to pay for their gas at 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations. The same year, the company announced plans to bring both Alexa and Fire TV to Rivian’s EVs and others.
In detailing its further plans for Fire TV at today’s Consumer Electronics Show, Amazon also shared its latest Fire TV milestone, noting it’s sold more than 150 million Fire TV devices worldwide as of Q4 2021. Fewer people actually use the platform on a regular basis, of course. Previously, the company had shared Fire TV had 50 million monthly active users as of December 2020. That number should have inched up since, as Amazon reported that shoppers purchased a record number of Fire TV smart TVs during the week of Black Friday 2021, and its Fire TV Stick was the top-selling product on Black Friday itself.
*Amazon updated its blog post to correct that the model of the car that will support the Fire TV integrations is the Ford Expedition SUV, not Ford Explorer SUV.