Amazon is making it easy for automakers to integrate the company’s Alexa digital assistant into cars today. While BMW, Ford, Toyota, and other carmakers are working with Amazon to integrate Alexa, the Alexa Auto SDK is being released today. Available for developers on GitHub, the SDK includes support for streaming media, smart home controls, weather reports, and Alexa’s many skills. It’s the first time developers will be able to get a first look at how Amazon wants to integrate Alexa into in-vehicle infotainment systems.
Alexa Auto will include support for features like calling from phones and navigation using GPS systems, and the ability to perform local searches for restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses. You’ll also be able to use Alexa to stream audio from Amazon Music, Audible, and iHeartRadio.
We should start seeing Alexa appear in more vehicles later this year. Toyota is building Alexa into its Entune 3.0 infotainment system (which also includes Apple’s CarPlay support), and Panasonic is bringing Alexa to its future in-car infotainment systems. Anker and Garmin are also creating aftermarket devices that plug into cars to bring Alexa to older vehicles. It will take some time for developers to get familiar with Alexa Auto, so we’ll likely see more cars ship with Alexa in 2019 and beyond.