Jaguar Land Rover this week announced a software update offering Alexa integration for newer vehicle models, according to a Bloomberg report.
The software must be updated and activated
The update is available for over 200,000 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles equipped with the company’s Pivi Pro 3.0 or newer infotainment system, updated via a wireless network.
This update comes after Amazon’s effort early last year to unveil some of Alexa’s AIs to allow carmakers to better integrate them into their vehicles.
Alexa in Jaguars and Land Rovers will be usable without the need for a smartphone and will be able to help hands-free drivers play music and adjust navigation. You can turn on the air conditioning and lock/unlock the vehicle using the new remote skills with Alexa from your home.
Many manufacturers still require customers to take their vehicles to the dealership to update the software, but Jaguar Land Rover has joined a few that can deliver them online.
Although Jaguar Land Rover says Alexa comes as a free update to OTA software, there are some caveats. A paid connection subscription, a compatible configuration package are required, and some cars may need to visit a dealership anyway.
The company’s report states:
“A 12-month subscription is required. Available only in related markets. Online package for S specification packages and packages above. The vehicle must have a Pivi Pro infotainment system and a valid subscription to the online package, and the software must be updated to OS3.0 or later to enable Alexa. ”
Existing vehicles may require multiple updates to get to OS3.0, and for some owners, this may require a vendor visit. The vehicle software must be updated and “activated” to enable Alexa. The user must have a valid Amazon account.
Activating Alexa will require scanning the QR code on the screen that connects the Jaguar Land Rover InControl system to your Amazon account.
Alexa Automotive International CEO Christian Mentz stressed the importance of working closely with Jaguar Land Rover:
“Customers around the world communicate with Alexa billions of times each week, making life easier, more productive, and more fun. We are excited to be able to provide the same wonderful, practical experience to Jaguar and Land Rover customers.
Many new Volvo and Polestar vehicles are now available with Google Assistant on Android Automotive. Also for GMC Hummer EV, Lucid Air. The competition is already fierce for Amazon in the automotive space.
Previously, Alexa was only available in some cars as a secondary voice option in addition to digital assistants. In some BMW models or as a dashboard app that connects to a phone with Sync in some Fords.
The manufacturer’s partnerships, such as with Jaguar Land Rover, represent an opportunity for Amazon to be a serious competitor to other companies.