Amazon just announced the launch of a toolkit that will enable developers to integrate Alexa into car infotainment systems. Dubbed Alexa Auto, the software development kit is now available on GitHub.
The kit contains all the core functions of Alexa in the context of car ecosystems. These include being able to cast media, control smart home devices, ask for weather reports, and support tens of thousands of third-party capabilities, which Amazon calls Skills. The company also plans to add brand-new features just for auto users, such as GPS navigation and search.
Alexa Auto Software Development Kit Now Available On GitHub
This marks the first time developers will be able to get a first look at how Amazon wants to integrate Alexa into infotainment systems. Much like Android Auto, Alexa will allow car owners to make hands-free calls, perform local searches for restaurants, cinemas, and other establishments, and stream music from a number of streaming services, such as Amazon Music, Audible, and iHeartRadio.
Alexa auto will also support turn-by-turn navigation, which will be triggered when users specify an address or point of interest.
"The Alexa Auto SDK is designed to allow flexibility in the integration of Alexa as a part of the Auto in-cabin experience. The Alexa Auto SDK Engine provides runtime support for Alexa and other services and allows the application to integrate with platform specific functionality," according to the GitHub page.
Alexa Auto Coming To More Cars
This, however, is not the first time for Alexa to come to cars. Amazon has been closely working with carmakers such as Ford, BMW, Toyota, SEAT, and Lexus to integrate Alexa into select vehicles. Alexa is also available in older cars via aftermarket add-on devices, such as those from Anker, Garmin, Logitech, and many others.
By releasing its own SDK, Amazon is essentially opening up Alexa Auto to a wide range of developers, allowing them to freely experiment with potential Alexa car integrations even if they don't necessarily have an official relationship with Amazon. As a result, Alexa Auto will probably arrive on more vehicles going forward. This might take some time, however, as developers still probably need to get acquainted with the Alexa Auto platform.
Are you a developer? Have you checked out Amazon's Alexa Auto SDK? What are some interesting integrations you've seen? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!