Smart homes and connected cars are courting. In a digital world where there is a smartphone app for almost everything, smart homes and automobiles are still seeking and making connections that add value. Ford Motor Company recently announced that three of its models will work with Amazon’s voice service as by the end of the year, according to Reuters.
The Ford Focus Electric, Fusion Energi, and C-Max Energi are the chosen few and you can see a pattern. Ford is adding the latest connectivity features to its electric cars. In the push to convince consumers to shift to zero-emissions vehicles, it makes sense to load those same vehicles with the latest crossover technology, especially if it does not cost much. It also does not hurt that voice systems, especially Alexa, are getting a lot of attention from consumers and from the press.
For the three Ford models, Alexa-to-vehicle communications will work in both directions. In the car, drivers will access Alexa by pressing the steering wheel’s voice recognition button. That placement will make it difficult for a third-row passenger to tell Alexa to turn up the temperature on a smart home thermostat, but it is a beginning. Outside the vehicle, users can access car systems from Echo and other Alexa-aware devices.
From your Alexa-friendly Ford, you will be able to change home temperature, check the security system, or turn on the outside home lights. When you are not in your car, Alexa can start the engine, lock or unlock the doors, cue up music, and check the vehicle’s battery power driving range. You will need to provide a security code to make changes in the vehicle via Alexa.
Other Alexa services and additional Ford models with Alexa compatibility will start to appear in 2017, according to a Ford spokesperson. It is clear that car-home-office connectivity is coming fast and adding value to each.