Amazon has decided to release the Alexa Auto software development kit on GitHub.
This opens up the software allowing any automaker, or stereo manufacturer, to implement Alexa voice controls into their product.
Giving users Alexa support in the car allows them to ask for things like the weather, notifications, media streaming and smart home controls. The car-specific version of Alexa also seems to have the ability to function similar to Android Auto or CarPlay. It can also give the user navigation instructions and local search.
The product is still in its early stages, but certain manufacturers have been working with Amazon to bring Alexa to their cars for a while. Ford has an Alexa app that can be downloaded and it allows drivers using Ford Sync 3 to access Alexa voice commands. Hyundai, BMW, Toyota and Volkswagen have all either added Alexa or announced plans to bring the assistant to some of their cars in the future.
Now that the code is on GitHub it’s likely that more manufacturers jumping on board. Alexa pushing into the automotive market like this is an interesting move for Amazon. In the stage it’s in now it doesn’t look like it will be taking on CarPlay or Android Auto in the near future. Although, if it continues to grow as quickly as Amazon’s standard Alexa platform, Amazon’s voice-activated assistant could become the third major competitor in the evolving third-party car technology space.