With Alexa Custom Assistant, Amazon continues its automotive offensive

Amazon has decided to embed its voice assistant in the cockpit of cars. The company unveiled Friday, January 15, 2021 Alexa Custom Assistant, a toolkit that allows a company to develop its own voice assistant from the technological bricks used for Alexa.

Word alarm clock, voice … increased personalization
Amazon, like its competitors, already marketed technological bricks to feed its voice assistant. But Alexa Custom Assistant includes a more comprehensive set of tools, according to Amazon. Companies can decide on the wake-up word, the assistant’s voice and the capabilities they want to highlight using the same technology bricks as those powering Alexa. This voice assistant then coexists with Alexa.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is the first automaker to use Alexa Custom Assistant. Concretely, with Alexa Custom Assistant he can develop his voice assistant which can take care of all the tasks related to the vehicle (lowering a window, putting on the air conditioning, turning on the car radio, etc.). But, he does not need to develop skills related to everyday life since Alexa is also present.



Diversify Alexa’s skill spectrum
The details of the agreement between FCA and Amazon, in particular around the management of the data collected, are not specified. According to an Amazon spokesperson who communicated to Bloomberg: The e-commerce company will manage the voice data of users who choose to sign in with an Amazon account and share with Fiat Chrysler only the intention of action users.

Amazon is looking to extend the reach of its software behind Alexa, which is primarily tied to its Echo smart speaker. Amazon is keen to develop capabilities for home automation and other potentially lucrative businesses for this voice assistant market. Unlike Apple or Google, Amazon is not in the smartphone business which allows its competitors to hit captive users. Turning to the automobile allows it to somewhat bridge this gap but also to highlight its e-commerce platform.

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