Amazon brings Alexa digital assistant along for the ride with Toyota

Amazon brings Alexa digital assistant along for the ride with Toyota

Although the concept sounds like the future of driving technology, cars will not be able to use voice assistants for an entirely autonomous driving experience. The company still does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration to its touchscreens, despite almost every other major automaker already offering it.

A number of carmakers have introduced Amazon Alexa voice commands that can activate the locks and climate control on their cars, but Toyota is going a step further with Alexa integration by bringing Alexa into the vehicle.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Steve Rabuchin, the vice president of Amazon Alexa said that "I think you'll see a lot more games come out this year that take advantage of the buttons".

Amazon's Alexa has been helpful in our homes the last couple of years and now she's ready to give us a hand in our cars as well. They also more closely resemble normal glasses, although Vuzix's eyewear is still noticeably thicker than standard prescription glasses.

"People tell us they love Alexa in the home", said John Scumniotales, the head of product for Amazon Alexa.

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What does this mean for the Microsoft Cortana digital assistant that's already working on Windows 10 machines?

The company doesn't disclose sales of Echo devices beyond a year-end news release touting the sales of "tens of millions" of Alexa-enabled devices during the holiday season. From one direction, Amazon is bringing its Alexa ecosystem into the world's largest computer ecosystem, Windows PCs.

This move certainly hasn't escaped Google's attention and considering its efforts to spread the Google Assistant everywhere, it's certainly going to bring a response.

But Amazon is leading the race to make software that can control other machines. However, with the advent of smart home devices, Cortana's greatest weakness proved to be its lack of smart home controls. Customers can also use voice commands to turn the mirror's embedded lights on and off, and tap into the rest of Alexa's skills, like asking for a weather report.

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