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Alexa will soon connect to Nissans and offer remote control of your car

Alexa will soon connect to Nissans and offer remote control of your car


Amazon, automaker announce skill for many 2016 and newer models

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Amazon Echo
Photo by Lauren Goode / The Verge

More automakers are using Amazon’s Alexa to perform some vehicle functions that once required a set of car keys. Nissan is the latest automaker to use Alexa and is offering it in a way that may even benefit customers who purchased their new cars up to two year ago.

Nissan said Wednesday a number of vehicles from 2016, 2017 and 2018 equipped with the NissanConnect Services will work with a new Alexa skill to perform functions such as starting the car, unlocking and locking the car, and turning the lights or horn on. The system needed to connect to Alexa is found in certain versions of vehicles such as the Altima, Maxima, Pathfinder, Rogue, Sentra, and Titan. It also covers the 2017 GT-R sports car, which means you can use Alexa to impress your neighbors with its engine roar. Amazon plans to add the skill to models later this month.

No over-the-air update or dealership visit is needed to get the new skill

The automaker says the 2018 Leaf will also gain Alexa compatibility shortly after reaching US dealerships early next year, followed by other models that will eventually adopt the latest version of NissanConnect. Owners of 2011-2017 Leafs will still be able to check battery status, manage remote charging, and adjust the heating and air conditioning in the vehicle through the new skill. Some commands, like starting the car, will require a four-digit PIN code set by the owner.

Owners who have the NissanConnect Services from 2016 on will need a valid account to download the skill, Nissan said. There is no over-the-air update or download from a service technician.

Amazon adds Nissan to its growing list of automakers that use Alexa. Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen have announced similar plans this year to add Alexa’s services to new vehicles. BMW announced last week it would integrate Alexa through a built-in microphone in many BMW and Mini vehicles for 2018 in the US, Germany, and UK.

Nissan jumping on board with some older vehicles, however, may entice many more people to embrace Amazon and Alexa.