GM vehicle owners will receive a number of new infotainment features next year as the automaker looks to add Amazon Alexa across the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands. The system will be available on 2018 model year and newer cars, trucks and crossovers with compatible infotainment systems. The upgrade is slated to arrive in the first half of the 2020 calendar year, and will utilize available 4G LTE connectivity.
Now, it appears as though Amazon Alexa will be integrated retroactively as well.
“GM research shows that many customers prefer to use the same voice services they use in their home in their vehicles,” reads a recent GM press release. “The Alexa voice experience in GM vehicles leverages the Alexa Auto Software Development Kit, which gives customers access to standard Alexa skills and capabilities.”
GM says the program will also enable the creation of custom Alexa skills “that are relevant to the customer’s vehicle” sometime in the future.
For those who may be unaware, Amazon Alexa enables a variety of voice-activated commands, providing hands-free access to numerous infotainment features. This includes interconnected features like checking the news, control over smart home-connected devices like lights or thermostats, and adding items to a shopping list. In addition, the system will support automotive-centric features like navigation control, media selection, and hands-free calling.
GM will release additional information on how customers can integrate the new Amazon Alexa features in their cars closer to the feature launch next year.
The addition of Amazon Alexa is the latest in a series of tie-ins between GM and Amazon. Last year, GM launched in-car delivery with Amazon Key technology.
All told, it’s nice to see GM getting in on the personal digital assistant bandwagon. While not all customers will leverage the new features, it certainly doesn’t hurt to offer them, especially in a retroactive fashion.