Alexa Custom Assistant Gets First Integration of Voice Commands Inside Vehicles

Auburn Hills-based Continental and Germany-based Elektrobit (EB) have announced the first in-vehicle integration of the Alexa Custom Assistant, allowing car makers to automate and brand artificial voice assistant vehicle units.
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Alexa Voice Assistant in an automobile
Continental and Elektrobit have announced a partnership top bring a customizable version of Alexa Voice Commands to automakers for in-car use. // Courtesy of Continental

Auburn Hills-based Continental and Germany-based Elektrobit (EB) have announced the first in-vehicle integration of the Alexa Custom Assistant, allowing car makers to automate and brand artificial voice assistant vehicle units.

Continental’s experience creating automotive technologies and EB’s software expertise has made the automotive integration of Alexa Custom Assistant possible.

“Advances in AI are making voice experiences in the car more natural, conversational and user-friendly — and we want to make this innovation accessible to any automaker,” says Ned Curic, vice president of Alexa Auto.

“Our collaboration with Continental and EB gives the industry a highly integrated and scalable solution for adding customizable in-vehicle experiences to cockpit systems while reducing the burden of building and maintaining the core capabilities of an intelligent assistant — enabling automakers to focus their time and resources on creating other unique features that delight their customers.”

The features of the Alexa Custom Assistant include the on-off of the vehicle’s air conditioning, the activation of windshield wipers, the adjustment of mirrors or seats, and the ability to turn on an audio book all with voice command.

These different features are now available for automakers to implement into their own vehicles, but also, to program how they work and operate. Automakers will be given the opportunity to find ways to accommodate their customers even more for a better driving experience through Alexa Custom Assistant.

“The automotive cockpit is changing. With the addition of more displays, cameras, sensors, and advanced features, it is becoming increasingly complex. Additionally, boundaries between life in and outside the vehicle continue to blur,” says Jens Brandt, head of human machine interface at Continental North America. “Working together with Amazon, we enable automakers to create world-class customized voice AI experiences that maximize resources and enhance the customer experience.”

This advancement of in-vehicle voice assistants is significant because it allows for automakers to create full scale digital cockpits. This ability will separate the automakers through self-branded voice assistants is attainable.

“It’s exciting for EB and Continental to pave the way, making it easier for OEMs to add cutting-edge features to their vehicles,” says Christian Reinhard, executive vice president, Elektrobit. “This first-of-its-kind integration of Alexa Custom Assistant is the logical progression of EB’s groundbreaking work with Amazon.”

The public debut will be at Alexa Live on July 21. Automakers are invited to join the session live at 10:15 am PT on July 21, by registering here.

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