Through a partnership with Amazon, Ford is looking to use new SYNC Connect technology to link vehicles with the cloud-based voice service Alexa, which would allow customers to access their vehicle from inside their home or vice versa.
The announcement was made at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Using Amazon Echo, a hands-free speaker and voice command device that interfaces with Alexa, Ford owners could request assistance with various functions of their car including:
- Start/stop the vehicle
- Lock/unlock the doors
- State range and charge status of their electric vehicle
- Check fuel level/range
- State vehicle mileage summary
- Provide vehicle location with street name and driving time/mileage home
Alexa also provides a link to a variety of Internet-enabled smart devices, such as lights, home security systems, and automatic garage doors. Additionally, it offers weather reports, music, shopping lists, and more.
In related news, Ford is teaming up with drone maker DJI to allow its vehicles to communicate with drones. The goal is to facilitate drone-to-vehicle applications in agriculture, forestry, construction, bridge inspection, search and rescue, and many other work environments in which vehicles are space-, height- or terrain-limited.