Alexa Runs The New Range Rover Phone-Free Like Echo Smart Speakers
Land Rover revealed how it will center on Alexa in the upcoming 2022 Range Rover. The voice assistant will be accessible to drivers even without connecting a smartphone, turning the vehicle into an independent Alexa hub like an Echo smart speaker with leather seating and an engine.
Range Rover uses the Alexa Built-In feature introduced at the beginning of the year to allow owners to set up and access Alexa without an intermediary like a smartphone app. Users just sign in with their Amazon account to connect their preferences and enable Alexa skills in the vehicle over the cloud. Besides the phone-free connection, Alexa works in the car as it does in many other cars to answer questions and control smart home devices in the network. The Alexa wake word and button on the central Pivi Pro touchscreen can both activate the voice assistant.
The Range Rover’s audio power is where the marriage of Alexa and Land Rover stand out most. The 35-speaker Meridian sound system includes 20W speakers in the headrests and sound detection for the cabin and the gears of the car, allowing the driver to run active noise cancellation for everything but the audio content they prefer. The vehicle is both an Echo sound speaker and Echo Buds earbuds with active noise cancellation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also wirelessly available but need a smartphone to run their respective systems.
“Using intuitive natural voice commands goes one step beyond touchscreen or button interfaces in helping reduce cognitive load, providing a sense of effortless modern luxury. In this way, Alexa capabilities allow customers to manage everything from favorite infotainment features and music track selection to navigation or phone contacts – all while keeping their hands on the wheel, and eyes on the road,” Land Rover explained in announcing the car. “Alexa voice AI is embedded within the New Range Rover, so users experience seamless interactivity and next-level convenience. Alexa capabilities also allow customers to check the news, weather and for any scheduled meetings using simple voice commands. The system can even turn on your lights at home and connect to other Alexa-enabled devices.”
Amazon’s library of automotive partners has grown quickly over the last couple of years. In February, Fiat Chrysler created the first Alexa Custom Assistant, with Garmin’s new voice assistant following suit. More firsts followed. Lamborghini Huracán Evo was the first to add up Alexa’s environmental control, leveraging the Alexa Auto SDK 3.0. upgrades, while Nissan took the lead in adding Amazon’s Connected Vehicle Skill API and Ford announced plans in May to integrate Amazon Alexa directly into hundreds of thousands of vehicles over the air.
Alexa as a selling point for cars has also risen in marketing and advertising. Alexa became the voice control for the new Amazon Fire TV for Auto platform, starting with the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The cars give passengers access to the smart TV platform, including Alexa voice controls. The Range Rover also feels like a candidate for a new version of a Buick ad from earlier this year showing people debating whether to call a car a Buick or an Alexa.