Now that the veils are off the Audi e-tron, the company is starting to slowly roll out additional details about their flagship electric car. One of the big news that may interest prospective buyers is the fact that the e-tron will be the first Audi to have Amazon Alexa functionality integrated into the MMI infotainment system.
The news came today and it seems like the Germans put a lot of thought into this as the system works rather differently than it does on other cars from various other manufacturers. To use Alexa in the e-tron, you don’t need a special app installed on your phone. Audi has seamlessly integrated the Amazon voice service into the MMI system. All you have to do is link the car to your Amazon account. You can then activate the voice service via the onboard voice control system.
With Alexa on board, you can access many of the same features and services in the Audi e-tron that are available in your home or through other Alexa-enabled devices. You can check news, weather and sports scores, order groceries, add to your to-do list and stream music and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon Music and TuneIn. The wide variety of Alexa skills can also be accessed. And with smart home controls, you can lock the doors, turn off the lights, and close the garage door directly from the vehicle – all you need to do is ask.
The system is activated by saying ‘Alexa’ just like you’d do at home. After that, the LTE module in the MMI system establishes a connection via an Audi back-end and sends the queries to the Amazon servers. The content and information are played back through the car’s audio system. “The car as an intelligent conversationalist and digital voice services are nothing new to our customers,” explains Dr. Thomas M. Müller, Head of Electrics/Electronics of AUDI AG. “Integrating Alexa into our infotainment system was therefore the next logical step. We provide our customers with a consistent user experience, whether at home or on the road.”
According to Audi, this is just a first step in this direction. Following the launch of the Audi e-tron, the brand with the four rings will integrate Alexa into additional models in North America and most European countries as well.