Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Amazon's Alexa Coming to Select Toyota, Lexus Models This Year

In an announcement made at CES 2018 in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Alexa will show up on "select" vehicles equipped with Toyota's Entune 3.0 infotainment or Lexus's Enform 2.0 head unit later this year with more to be added in 2019. The battery can last between two and 12 hours, depending on whether it's used merely for notifications or for more battery-intensive tasks such as using Alexa to access the web, using the camera or playing games.

The addition of Amazon Alexa on Acer, Asus, and HP computers poses a major challenge to Microsoft's own Cortana, which the company has integrated into its Windows operating system. The Consumer Electronic Show 2018 revealed a new variety of tech surprises, one that got the market buzzing is the combination of Amazon and Toyota for a new device.

A number of carmakers have introduced Amazon Alexa voice commands that can activate the locks and climate control on their cars, but Toyota is going a step further with Alexa integration by bringing Alexa into the auto.

Those include the top vendors like Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo, all of whom are now prepping up to integrate the Alexa voice assistant on their upcoming notebooks and desktops. A motorist can ask Alexa to play music, order a cup of coffee from a nearby Starbuck's, or operate various home automation devices, turning up the thermostat or turning on the lights at home, for example.

"Voice services are rapidly becoming more popular and through our integration with Amazon Alexa, Toyota and Lexus customers will soon be able to easily speak to Alexa in their cars while on-the-go", Zack Hicks, SVP and CIO of Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement.

STUFFING AMAZON'S ALEXA into a pair of glasses it a bit of a jump form popping the virtual assistant into a speaker, but that's what smart glasses maker Vuzix has done. They also more closely resemble normal glasses, although Vuzix's eyewear is still noticeably thicker than standard prescription glasses. The Marketplace already allows a driver to order beverages and food from some partners, while also reserving a hotel room or an airline ticket.

At the same venue, Toyota unveiled the autonomous e-palette concept.

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