Volkswagen also to get Amazon Alexa voice control system, following the introduction of the system in the Seat cars, as well as a VAG stablemate Skoda. The most recent development comes in the midst of the VW Group’s latest push for a higher level of connectivity and ease of use.
The technology, which will be part of Skoda’s package of information and entertainment in future models, use of Amazon’s most advanced voice recognition system than the current in-car voice command systems. The existing functionality has been criticized by critics as too simplistic, recognizing only set phrases and rigid commands in place of natural speech.
Seat, who recently announced the arrival of the third generation Cupra R, confirmed that the technology will feature in some of their models at the end of the year, with the rest of the range following suit over the next 12 months. Brand boss Luca de Meo, made the announcement today at a pre-Frankfurt motor show presentation of the brand, in Spanish, the plan for the show.
The system will be implemented first in the Leon and Ateca at the end of this year, and then move on to the Arona and Ibiza. It is the first European application of the system in an automotive environment, said de Meo. The system will be optimized for a driving situation, in place of their current home, skewed installation, continued. New commands that have been developed for automotive use, with information and entertainment commands added, as well as the navigation of the applications. Once installed, Alexa vocabulary, can and will be expanded.
Speaking at the Skoda Digilab in Prague, Czech Republic, director of corporate development and digitization Andre Wehner, said: “We are working on the Alexa of integration, and a smart home integration to give a better service to our customers.”
Connectivity specialist at Skoda, Kai Scheffs, said: “In the first of the cars that had a voice assistant, could only understand a few phrases. In the future, looking at Alexa, and [Apple’s virtual assistant] Siri, will certainly be something more individual, so that the client doesn’t really have to think about what they are saying; in a more flexible way to understand clients”.
It was also revealed in the plan, was the idea in the home shopping, as well as the arrival of over-the-air updates, as those that have been introduced to the car industry by Tesla. This includes the possibility of downloading the features of a car, ending the need of definite and complete specifications of a car before the purchase, and the opening of the possibility of retrofitment of additional features at the demand of the customers.
A time scale of Skoda Amazon Alexa integration has not been given, nor has that of the over-the-air updates, though the brand is looking to seize the moment as the connectivity and the Internet of Things boom continues to grow.
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