Amazon Echo and its service platform! Beyond the smart home, Amazon is targeting the automotive sector through its partnership with Ford
At the opening of CES 201, Mark Field and Greg Hart, respectively Ford CEO and Vice-President of Amazon, announced in unison the compatibility of the Ford SYNC platform with Amazon Echo. For the record, Ford SYNC is an integrated connectivity system that lets you control the main functions of your Bluetooth-enabled telephone simply with voice commands.
Via its Skills store, Amazon Echo and its vocal assistant Alexa has just topped 130 home automation and digital services applications designed to manage daily tasks (diary, shopping lists, Amazon Dash) and ordering on Amazon applications. Now this store is targeting the automotive industry.
This partnership will enable cars fitted with Ford SYNC to interact with your smart home, and conversely, by using Echo and Alexa. So you will be able to communicate with your car from home, for instance to start the engine or check the fuel level or battery. Conversely, you can control connected objects in your home from your car to switch on the lights and heating or open your garage door directly or according to different predefined scenarios.
The exponential growth of the Internet of Things (according to Gartner there will be 21 billion connected objects in 2020) and Artificial Intelligence foreshadows numerous opportunities offered by the former in our society. The automotive industry has clearly bought into this trend.
The advent of the IOT is pushing the sector to standardize its on-board computers to better stand out! Manufacturers are now battling to develop the most user-friendly, innovative, intuitive and above all connected interface!
However, for Brigitte Courtehoux, head of PSA Peugeot Citroën’s connected vehicles and services, “we have to work with Google and Apple, not against them, so as not to cut ourselves off from the customer”. Because “customers spend all day in Google and Apple environments” and it would be counterproductive to want to make them leave them, she says.
Words backed up buy a Mckinsey survey, which says that GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) represent 55% of our life (e-mails, chat, purchases, etc.).
That is why Ford SYNC is now compatible with Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Amazon’s Echo (Alexa), namely 3 of the GAFA that are part of everyone’s daily digital life.
Will the era when the buyer negotiated his vehicle primarily on the engine, safety and fuel consumption be replaced by “how will the ecosystem of my daily OS fit into my vehicle to allow me to regain and pursue my digital life”?
In a few years, will the software be the quintessential selection criterion, considered as the only factor capable of guaranteeing the highest level of safety, communication and ambient driving comfort? Given that the latter are already built in to Apple and Google’s planned connected and autonomous cars, the future of the car will probably be driven by these web giants!