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Amazon launches an Alexa Auto SDK to bring its voice assistant to more cars


Amazon this morning announced the launch of a toolkit for developers that will allow them to integrate Alexa into cars infotainment systems. The Alexa Auto SDK is available now on GitHub, and includes all the core Alexa functions like streaming media, smart home controls, weather reports, and support for Alexas tens of thousands of third-party skills. It will also add new features just for auto users, like navigation and search, Amazon says. The source code and function libraries will be in C++ and Java, allowing the vehicles to process audio inputs and triggers, then connect with the Alexa service, and handle the Alexa interactions. In addition, Amazon is offering a variety of sample apps, build scripts, and documentation supporting Android and QNX operating systems on ARM and x86 processor architectures. The SDK will allow for streaming media from Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and Audible, for the time being, and will allow customers to place calls by saying the contacts name or phone number. These will be launched over the native calling service in the vehicle. Plus, it can tap into a native turn-by-turn navigation system, when customers specify an address or point of interest, or if they cancel the navigation. A local search feature lets customers search for restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, hotels, and other business, and navigate to the location. This is not the first time Alexa has come to cars, by any means. Amazon has been working with car makers like Ford, BMW, SEAT, Lexus and Toyota, who have been integrating the voice assistant into select vehicles. Alexa is also available in older cars through a variety of add-on devices, like those from Anker, Muse (Speak Music) , Garmin, and Logitech, for example. With this SDK, Amazon is opening the voice assistant to other developers building for auto, who dont yet have a relationship with Amazon.

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.