Rivian, the EV startup backed by Amazon and Ford, among other companies, has announced the Alexa voice assistant will be directly integrated into the hardware of its upcoming R1T pickup and R1S SUV.
As a result, the automaker claims users will get a seamless Amazon Alexa experience, without needing a phone or app. The virtual assistant will allow drivers to control key vehicle features, even in remote locations with poor reception, and access unique Rivian “home-to-car” and “car-to-home” skills.
Since Alexa will be programmed directly into the vehicle’s connected car system, Rivian owners will be able to ask the assistant to control features such as HVAC, windows, opening and closing the frunk, and more. Furthermore, users will be able remotely access the R1T’s bed camera from screen-based devices like Echo Show and Fire TV.
Obviously, the integration also allows access to all standard Alexa features and capabilities, including playing music, getting directions, placing calls, controlling smart home devices, and accessing tens of thousands of other Alexa skills.
Rivian also announced that Alexa integration will extend to the upcoming fleet of 100,000 all-electric Amazon delivery vans, which will start delivering packages to customers in 2021.
“Rivian’s vision is to enable exploration without compromises and provide our owners the best digital experience, no matter where their adventure takes them,” said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “We want this to be the most comprehensive, most seamless Alexa integration in the market.”
“By leveraging the newest version of the Alexa Auto SDK, Rivian is able to make Alexa a natural part of the driving experience and provide customers with continuous access to key car control features – even in remote locations where reception is poor or nonexistent,” added Ned Curic, Vice President of Alexa Auto at Amazon.
The integrated Amazon Alexa will debut at the end of 2020 in the Rivian R1T and R1S.