Toyota and Lexus will feature Amazon Alexa in new vehicles

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

The Japanese brand will add the assistant to a few Toyota and Lexus models with special infotainment software this year and expand it more models in 2019.

STUFFING AMAZON'S ALEXA into a pair of glasses it a bit of a jump form popping the virtual assistant into a speaker, but that's what smart glasses maker Vuzix has done.

The march of Amazon's Alexa into the automotive world continues. Vuzix envisions a future in which a user could walk down the street wearing its glasses, glance over at a sign for an upcoming concert, and then ask Alexa to purchase a ticket for that event. Though Toyota doesn't specifically say which models, we suspect the Camry and Sienna will be the first, since they're the only Toyotas with EnTune 3.0.

The Drive reached out to Toyota regarding which cars will receive Alexa integration first, the possibility of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-equipped Toyotas, and recommendations for drivers less than thrilled with the idea of an always-on microphone embedded in their new vehicle.

But Toyota will also allow a motorist to use the system from home.

Last week, LG announced that its 2018 lineup of OLED and Super UHD TVs will include its ThinQ AI platform, combining Google Assistant and deep learning to provide voice controls for the device.

Amazon's Alexa virtually dominates the voice-based AI space with a 82% market share with Google Home way behind at 18%. "They also want it everywhere they are during the day".

Although Alexa users already have access to the voice assistant on PCs via an Amazon-sanctioned website, the partnership with PC manufacturers will make the usage of Alexa an experience that is much more integrated into using the PC.

Several automakers, notably including Ford, are taking advantage of Alexa's ability to conduct e-commerce.