Exactly a year ago, Ford announced its plans to equip its vehicles with Amazon’s powerful voice-enabled service Alexa and it seems the auto-maker is finally closing in on its promise.
At CES, the iconic manufacturer revealed it will begin rolling out its new Alexa integration later this month. This means owners of Ford vehicles packing its Sync 3 entertainment system will be able to control their cars remotely by speaking to Alexa via the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap.
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The implementation will take place in two phases, with a slew of additional features expected to follow later throughout the year.
The first stage will enable drivers to remotely turn the car engine on and off, check fuel levels as well as lock and unlock the doors. Eventually, Ford owners will be able to ask Alexa to find destinations, play music and read audiobooks, check news, place orders and control smart home appliances straight from the vehicle.
To connect Alexa to the internet, Ford is additionally implementing a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot capability on select Sync 3-equipped models. Powered by AT&T, the LTE hotspot will support up to 10 devices at a time.
The car-maker also announced its engineers are working on a solution which will allow Samsung Gear S2 and S3 owners to connect their smartwatches to Sync 3 for seamless integration with alerts and parking services.
That ought to make Ford’s new vehicles more appealing to gadget freaks.