This morning at CES, Ford snuck in and took the opening keynote from LG (Fitbit did also), starting at 7:30am PST. Ford announced quite a few interesting products at their event this morning. Including a new partnership with Amazon. Now you might be wondering, what would the two of them have in common? Well Ford is partnering with the Amazon Echo and Alexa, the voice and brains behind the Echo. They are also partnering with the Wink smart home platform. To bring your life altogether into a smart life.
What Ford is thinking here, is that at home customers can start their car with Alexa, or unlock the car. They can also check status of the car, especially useful for EV's that need to be charged. Ford also has given the Echo the ability to give out vehicle location as well as estimated driving time back to the house. Something parents will love, but teenagers are going to hate. Here's where things get interesting. Using a button on the steering wheel, the customer can talk with Amazon's Alexa platform from within the car. This means you can talk to Alexa from the car and have it open the garage door. Or turn on the lights at home. Say you forgot to turn off the lights at home, Alexa can turn them off while you are away from home. Pretty amazing. Not to mention the usual Alexa commands like shopping lists, weather reports, sports scores and much more.
This isn't Ford's only announcement at CES this year. Yesterday, they announced that they are finally bringing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to their 2017 models, and offering an upgrade to 2016 models later this year. It's part of an update to their SYNC3 platform which is what runs the infotainment system in the car. The way Ford has implemented it means that you can use Ford's own infotainment system, or Google's Android Auto (and Apple's CarPlay for those with iOS). It will be coming to every single 2017 model, which is also great news from Ford, as not every car maker has brought Android Auto to their entire line of vehicles.