The 1980's hit show "Knight Rider" and the iconic KITT come to mind the more we talk about new car technology. KITT was an autonomous car enabled with artificial intelligence that helped the show's hero fight crime. Although we're still a few years from a real life KITT, Ford seems to be getting closer than any other car manufacturer.
A lot of major car companies are working on driverless cars to make sure their company rides into the future. And a lot of them also have a system for voice commands, like Ford SYNC. But what they don't have is Alexa.
Ford and Amazon are putting Alexa into vehicles via the new Ford SYNC 3 AppLink. It's the first of its kind. Later on this month, people will be able to control their car from inside their home by speaking to their Amazon device. Then in the summer, you will be able to control your home by speaking to Alexa in your car.
Alexa could cut down on distracted driving. Instead of scrolling through your phone to pull up a playlist, shop, or read the news, you can tell Alexa to do it. People will be able to ask the digital assistant to play Amazon audio books, add items to your cart, read news reports to you, and so much more.
Other than safer driving habits, having Alexa in your car will have several convenient uses. You can ask her to turn on your home's lights, open your garage door as you approach, set your alarm/lock your doors as you leave, and control other aspects of your smart home.
On the flip side, controlling your car from inside your home will definitely come in handy. On cold winter mornings when you want to get your engine warmed up, give the command to your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. That beats running outside in your robe and slippers!
Watch Ford's video demonstration to see what else we can expect from a car built with Alexa.
So between Ford SYNC 3 AppLink and the Next-Gen Ford Fusion Hybrid Self-Driving Car, Ford seems to be well on their way toward KITT. Once the two types of technology are perfected, I expect we'll see them merged into one vehicle. So far they are leading the way.
But I highly doubt they'll be the only manufacturer in the digital assistant/driverless car game. One of Amazon Echo's biggest rivals is Google home (we have a comparison chart if you want to see how they stack up against each other.) Once Waymo (Google cars) takes off, I bet they will incorporate their own digital assistant into the vehicles.
When it comes to the tech industry or anything for that matter, we all know: "It's not about who did it first, it's about who did it best."