Nissan will soon allow owners of its modern models to issue voice commands to their vehicles, through the integration of Amazon Alexa.
Nissan's move follows similar initiatives by other automobile manufacturers, including Ford, Volkswagen, and BMW, to bring Alexa into the dashboards of their vehicles.
Alexa Arriving To Nissan Cars
Nissan demonstrated the integration of Microsoft's Cortana into its vehicles earlier this year at CES 2017, but the company is now looking at embedding Amazon's Alexa into its NissanConnect Services.
Later this month, Nissan will release an Alexa skill for some of its vehicles that will allow owners to control them remotely through voice commands. The skill will be free, though owners will first have to link Alexa to a Nissan-specific owner account to take advantage of it.
Once the Alexa skill is activated, owners will be able to use voice commands for various functions, including remotely starting their car, locking or unlocking doors, flashing the lights, and honking the horns. The availability of some functions, however, depend on the model of the Nissan vehicle, and some functions such as remote engine starts will require the user to input a four-digit PIN for security purposes.
The vehicles that will soon be able to use the Alexa skill are the 2016 to 2017.5 Altima, the 2018 Armada, the 2017 GT-R, the 2016 and 2017 Maxima, the 2017.5 Murano, the 2017 and 2018 Pathfinder, the 2016 and 2017 Rogue, the 2017 Rogue Sport, the 2016 and 2017 Sentra, the 2017 Titan, and the 2016 and 2017 Titan XD. The 2018 Leaf electric car will also receive Alexa connectivity once it launches.
With Alexa coming to Nissan vehicles soon, it shows the next step in Amazon's plan to create partnerships with as many automobile manufacturers that it can, as it looks to challenge rivals Apple and Google, with CarPlay and Android Auto, respectively, in the connected car space.
Amazon Unveils New Alexa-Powered Echo Products
Amazon recently unveiled its new line of Alexa-powered products, including the second-generation Echo smart speaker that will only cost $99 and the Amazon Echo Plus for $149. In comparison, the original Amazon Echo carried a price tag of $179.
Amazon also announced the Amazon Echo Spot, which features a 2.5-inch circular screen for $129; the Amazon Echo Connect, a standalone speakerphone that enables phone calls through the Echo smart speakers for $35; and the Amazon Echo Buttons, which are meant to be paired with Echo smart speakers for games and other activities, sold for $20 for two units.