In systematic pursuit of its digitalization strategy, Audi is offering its customers ever-greater in-car connectivity. The latest example: The new, fully electric Audi e-tron SUV has Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service on board. It is seamless integrated into the car’s MMI operating system – no smartphone is necessary.

Audi is integrating the popular voice service from Amazon into its automobiles. With Alexa on board, customers can access many of the same features and services in the Audi e-tron as they can in their home or through other Alexa-enabled devices. You can check news, weather and sports scores, order groceries and add things to your to-do list, stream music and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon Music and TuneIn. And you access the wide variety of Alexa skills. And with smart home controls, you can lock the doors, turn off the lights, and close the garage door directly from the vehicle – all you have to do is ask.

Audi has seamlessly integrated the Amazon voice service into the MMI system of the Audi e-tron. Drivers don’t need an app on their smartphone to use it, nor do they have to pair their phone with the car. All they have to do is link the car to their Amazon account. They can then activate the voice service via the onboard voice control system. After saying the keyword “Alexa,” the LTE module in the MMI system establishes a connection via an Audi back-end and sends the queries to the Amazon servers. The content and information are played back through the car’s audio system.

Audi already demonstrated last year just how important it considers voice control to be for interacting with the car and the tasks associated with that. The natural voice control that debuted in the Audi A8 luxury sedan and has since been systematically rolled out to all model series also features a self-learning dialogue manager.

“The car as an intelligent conversationalist and digital voice services are nothing new to our customers,” explains Dr. Thomas M. Müller, Head of Electrics/Electronics of AUDI AG. “Integrating Alexa into our infotainment system was therefore the next logical step. We provide our customers with a consistent user experience, whether at home or on the road.”

“Our vision is to bring Alexa to customers wherever they are – at home, at work, and on the go,” says Ned Curic, VP of Alexa Auto. “With Alexa built directly into the vehicle, customers can ask Alexa to play music, place calls, and access plenty of Alexa skills, and we’re excited to work with a brand like Audi to bring that experience to the all-new Audi e-tron and additional models in its vehicle lineup.”

The Alexa integration is not the first joint project between the two companies. Via the myAudi app, Audi has offered the streaming service Amazon Music as part of the Audi connect service in many of the brand’s models since late 2017. Following the launch of the
Audi e-tron, the brand with the four rings will integrate Alexa into additional models in North America and most European countries, opening a new chapter in terms of user experience.

 

Source: Grayling