LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 05: Volkswagen's I.D., an autonomous self-driving concept vehicle is displayed at the Volkswagen booth at CES 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 8 and features 3,800 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 165,000 attendees.
(Photo : David Becker/Getty Images)
Volkswagen plans to follow Ford's strategy on adding Amazon Alexa into its vehicles. At CES 2017, VW announced that they are applying Alexa into their futuristic vehicles. Volkswagen cars that are Alexa-enabled basically have the same features as the Echo but the German company will have their own bunch of car-centric capabilities.
What are the features in the Volkswagen-Alexa tandem?
One edge Volkswagen has over Ford will be that users can ask Alexa to give them the full status of their cars. This feature may not be useful if the driver is inside the car but it is pretty much informative when the driver is somewhere else. For example, if one is sitting in the living room watching TV, the car owner can simply check with Alexa if the car is locked or not.
Further, more information can be obtained when not inside the car. Another great application would be the ability to know how much fuel the tank has before the driver could even get inside the car. This way, a route plan can be set ahead of time, allowing the driver to choose proper paths to go get some more fuel or just go directly to the destination, depending on how much fuel is left.
Owners can also ask Alexa to lock or unlock the car for them. Alexa can even produce beeps when the owner is lost in the parking lot. On top of that, Alexa can also be used to shop items for the car and the owner as it is synced with the VW Car-Net account. Since Alexa is from Amazon, shopping online is not a problem.
Volkswagen-Alexa Smart Navigation System
Alexa can also help out with directions while driving. When at home, Volkswagen owners can already ask Alexa in advance to help with the best route towards the destination. One cool feature is that when Alexa suggests, the owner needs to confirm with "yes". If so, the system will then setup the navigation path chosen before the driver has even stepped inside the car. When planning ahead for a route, Alexa can even pause whatever media the owner is listening or watching so that the discussion on how to get to the destination can begin.
Volkswagen-Alexa Location-Based Reminders
Another useful feature would be reminding the Volkswagen owner on almost about everything. VW has added location-based reminders so that when the owner is driving through a particular area, the corresponding reminder will be played. For instance, Alexa will remind the driver to pick up the laundry since it's along the path before getting home.
A spokesperson from Volkswagen boasts that their solution is better than using Android or iOS since phones don't ping GPS frequently enough to be reliable. With that said, it seems that the reminder system from Alexa and Volkswagen will never miss a turn.