Toyota will bring Alexa to its United States cars this year

Toyota will bring Alexa to its United States cars this year

The announcement, made at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, marks a significant step forward for the Japanese automaker.

Alexa will let drivers and passengers get directions, control entertainment features, get the news and perform other functions in the vehicle via voice command, the companies said Tuesday at the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas.

Toyota says its Alexa integration will allow for voice control of vehicle functions, such as climate control, while still offering Alexa's full suite of voice control options.

Amazon's voice-activated home assistant Amazon Alexa is making its way to a number of laptop and desktop models, challenging Microsoft's own PC assistant Cortana on her own operating system. Alexa will let drivers and passengers get directions, control entertainment features, get the news and perform other functions in the vehicle via voice command, said both companies. Meanwhile, Amazon will release Alexa app in the coming weeks, and PC makers are seeking help from Intel's Smart Sound Technology to ensure hands-free access to Alexa on PCs.

"We're thrilled that Toyota and Lexus will bring Alexa to customers on the road", said John Scumniotales, head of product for Amazon Alexa Automotive.

These companies will allow Alexa into their vehicles or integrating the voice service into the connectivity systems that link customers' cars and mobile phones.

Last November, the tech giant also announced a suite of Alexa-enabled office tools.

The Drive reached out to Toyota regarding which cars will receive Alexa integration first, the possibility of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-equipped Toyotas, and recommendations for drivers less than thrilled with the idea of an always-on microphone embedded in their new vehicle.

Toyota, a company that habitually spars with Volkswagen for the title of world's largest automaker, is among the few that stubbornly refuse to offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in any of its products.

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