Alexa Auto offers drivers navigation, weather updates & more

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Drivers can now bring Amazon Alexa along for the ride.

Instead of battling with their car’s default, oftentimes tedious voice command system, drivers can now ask Alexa about navigation, weather and more.

So says Amazon, which has made the Alexa Auto SDK (software development kit) available for anyone to download.

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As well as typical Alexa functions like reading the news, Alexa Auto also includes car-friendly features like navigation and local search, both of which can be handy if you need to find a gas station.

Some car manufacturers, including Ford, BMW and Toyota, have already added Alexa to their vehicles’ systems, but this was because of a direct partnership with Amazon. The SDK, on the other hand, is available for any auto company, private user or infotainment system manufacturer to download.

In addition to the SDK, Amazon is also offering a range of sample Alexa apps to help developers get started.

Alexa Auto has its limitations, though. At present, the system can only stream audio from Amazon Music, iHeartRadio and Audible. In addition, although drivers can ask Alexa to call a contact by verbalizing their name or phone number, the call is placed through the car’s default software rather than through Alexa itself.

Alexa Auto can also integrate with your car’s navigation system, making it possible to ask Alexa to find a destination. As with making calls, however, the actual navigation is also facilitated by your car’s own software. In other words, Alexa manages your car’s infotainment system for you, rather than take its place.

Finally, Alexa Auto can be useful for controlling smart home devices remotely. You can use the system to activate outdoor lighting or double-check that your front door is locked.

“Alexa is always getting smarter with new features and capabilities added in the cloud.” Amazon said in a message to developers. “When you connect your vehicle to Alexa, you give customers access to a wealth of information, including news and sports updates, to-do lists, and smart home control. All they have to do it ask.”

Check out The GearBrain’s smart home compatibility checker to see other products that are compatible with Amazon Alexa.

This article originally appeared on GearBrain and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Featured Image Credit: depositphotos.com.

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