Toyota and Lexus will feature Amazon Alexa in new vehicles


Toyota's announcement follows a growing list of automakers including Hyundai, Ford, and VW that have teamed up with Amazon.

"We're thrilled that Toyota and Lexus will bring Alexa to customers on the road", said John Scumniotales, head of product for Amazon Alexa Automotive.

Toyota said Tuesday that it plans to embed the retail giant's voice-activated assistant in some of its Toyota and Lexus cars this year without specifying which models. Consumers will be given easier access to the assistant without having to open up a website.

At the same venue, Toyota unveiled the autonomous e-palette concept. It will encompass online services from Pizza Hut, Didi Chuxing, Mazda and Uber. This feature will allow Toyota and Lexus customers in the United States to interact with Alexa in the vehicle. This includes; Panasonic, Byton (electric vehicle manufacturer) and Garmin.

Toyota's Zack Hicks explains how Toyota Connected will use Amazon's Alexa to supplement its system already in place. A motorist can ask Alexa to play music, order a cup of coffee from a nearby Starbuck's, or operate various home automation devices, turning up the thermostat or turning on the lights at home, for example.

Amazon is pushing for Alexa to be integrated into pretty much everything, from cars to fridges, thanks to providing developers with the tools to easily fit the virtual assistant into their devices. Well, the sophisticated voice assistant will enable users to do numerous things which include; engine ignition, lock controls, adjusting heat and air conditions, environmental controls and switching directions.

"This makes Toyota and Lexus vehicles among the first to bring the convenience of Alexa into the auto and onto the road, " announced the Toyota official.