Pioneer today announced plans to add Amazon Alexa to its after-market multimedia receivers from 2018 as well as its upcoming 2019 models. At CES in Las Vegas, the company demonstrated two prototype implementations of Alexa integration in its in-car systems using its Smart Sync app as well as on its upcoming 2019 models that run on the WebLink platform.
In-car Alexa access aims to provide users with a more enjoyable entertainment experience than a traditional head unit. The integration will allow Amazon Prime Music playback with metadata and album art, Audible audiobooks, and more, while also providing many of the functions Alexa have grown used to such as Flash Briefing, weather updates, or even controlling smart home appliances from their vehicle (provided you have an internet connection and an Echo device at home).
A future update to the Pioneer Smart Sync app will bring Alexa connectivity to any 2018 or newer in-dash receiver that is compatible Smart Sync — primarily single DIN-sized receivers where your smartphone docks to become the screen. Pioneer's 2019 double DIN multimedia receivers running WebLink will feature an Alexa app.
Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for Pioneer Electronics USA, said:
We are excited to bring Alexa soon to a broader group of drivers and deliver an entertainment experience that consumers have come to expect. Now, by simply upgrading your car stereo, you can have in-vehicle access to Prime Music and many of the benefits and features that Alexa users enjoy in their homes.
At CES, HERE also announced HERE Navigation On-Demand featuring Alexa integration, another example of Amazon's increasing desire to be a player in the automotive infotainment space.
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