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Amazon offers first look at Alexa Auto to developers today

Amazon is making it easy for automakers to integrate the companys Alexa digital assistant into cars today. While BMW, Ford, Toyota, and other carmakers are working with Amazon to integrate Alexa, the Alexa Auto SDK is being released today. Available for developers on GitHub, the SDK includes support for streaming media, smart home controls, weather reports, and Alexas many skills. Its the first time developers will be able to get a first look at how Amazon wants to integrate Alexa into in-vehicle infotainment systems. Alexa Auto will include support for features like calling from phones and navigation using GPS systems, and the ability to perform local searches for restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses. Youll also be able to use Alexa to stream audio from Amazon Music, Audible, and iHeartRadio. We should start seeing Alexa appear in more vehicles later this year. Toyota is building Alexa into its Entune 3.0 infotainment system (which also includes Apples CarPlay support), and Panasonic is bringing Alexa to its future in-car infotainment systems. Anker and Garmin are also creating aftermarket devices that plug into cars to bring Alexa to older vehicles. It will take some time for developers to get familiar with Alexa Auto, so well likely see more cars ship with Alexa in 2019 and beyond.

Alexa will soon be available in even more cars

Amazon released its Alexa Auto software development kit on GitHub. Amazon is giving more automakers access to the tools needed to integrate Alexa into their vehicles' infotainment systems. The company released its Alexa Auto software development kit today, making the tools accessible to all developers via GitHub. Integrating Alexa into vehicles gives users easier access to the assistant's skills while they drive, and they can take advantage of functions like weather reports, notifications, smart home controls, media streaming and the many third-party skills accessible through Alexa. Some other functions supported by Alexa Auto -- including navigation, calling and local search -- will be particularly useful for drivers. A number of automakers have begun or have announced plans to integrate Alexa into certain models. Those companies include Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota and Lexus. Now that Amazon has opened up its toolkit to everybody, though, it's likely we'll see developers bring Alexa to more vehicles sometime in the future.