Alexa is going ultra-luxury and fully electric.
Amazon announced that its popular voice assistant will be added to a handful of new vehicles. Automobili Lamborghini is bringing Alexa to its Huracán Evo, and buzzy EV startup Rivian will integrate Alexa into its first two all-electric vehicles, the R1S SUV and R1T pickup truck, as well as its upcoming fleet of 100,000 all-electric Amazon delivery vans.
Amazon says that both integrations will be available starting this year
Lamborghini and Rivian are the latest companies to partner with Jeff Bezos’ tech giant. Only a few — Toyota, BMW, Ford, and Audi — have announced direct Alexa integration with their infotainment systems, and not all of them struck deals for every model. It’s a risky bet for car companies, which have struggled to develop their own in-car voice assistants that can live up to the standards set by Amazon.
Once activated, drivers can use Alexa to get navigation information, play music or podcasts, or make phone calls. They can also link up with another Echo device in their home and tell Alexa to turn on their lights or adjust the temperature.
For those who lack the coin to purchase a $268,000 supercar or a time machine to travel to the future and acquire a yet-to-be-released Rivian EV, Amazon has a few other announcements. Echo Auto, the company’s matchbox-sized dashboard solution for vehicles without Alexa integration, is expanding internationally. Amazon says it will begin selling the aftermarket device in India in January and in other countries later this year.
Alexa will also have a few new tricks up its virtual sleeve. Later this year, customers will be able to say, “Alexa, pay for gas” to purchase fuel at any Exxon and Mobil gas stations. The transaction is made through Amazon Pay and powered by Fiserv, a global financial services technology provider.