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Ford plans to take Amazon's Alexa for a ride

Ford plans to take Amazon's Alexa for a ride

The device acts as a smarthome hub that delivers entertainment, information and AI assistance services through voice commands, and controls IoT enabled devices around the house.

"CES will see the voice-enabling of everything with Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, and others as a powerful new theme", said JP Gownder, an analyst at Forrester who specialises in AI and robotics.

Smart home connectivity from inside one's auto is now made possible with the help of Amazon's Alexa and Ford. They can also ask for directions to their destinations, request news, listen to audiobooks, and add items to their Amazon shopping carts.

Amazon has dominated CES with a series of integrations of its Alexa voice-enabled assistant into a variety of devices, from cars to refrigerators.

LG has announced another new device at this years CES, the LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator which LG says is created to be the heart of the home. First, Ford will let plug-in electric auto owners control their vehicle from home using an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap.

Focus Electric, Fusion Energi, and C-Max Energi owners will be the first to access home-to-car capabilities; vehicles with Sync Connect are next on the list. The synergy creates conveniences for vehicle sharing and tasks like checking battery power, but the promise of voice activation with broader features is really the promise of safety. The second phase will happen over the summer and will allow drivers to use their voices to command Alexa while driving.

Whirlpool hasn't revealed exactly which models will work with Alexa, but did say they will debut early this year along with the Whirlpool skill for Alexa.

Steve Rabuchin, vice president for Amazon Alexa said: "We believe voice is the future, and this is particularly true in cars".

Meanwhile, "Alexa at home" applications will be available later this month in Ford's Focus electric vehicle and its two plug-in hybrids, the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi.

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