Amazon-backed Rivian will integrate Alexa into its electric pickup and SUV

Rivian will integrate Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa into the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, the company’s first electric vehicles that are set to debut at the end of the year.

Rivian said Monday it also plans to extend the Alexa integration to 100,000 electric delivery trucks that Amazon has ordered from the automaker. The electric vans are expected to start delivering packages to customers in 2021.

The integration into the R1T and R1S will give owners access to standard Alexa features, such as playing music, placing calls and navigation, as well as the ability to control the climate, open and close the trunk and other vehicle features.

Rivian said it plans to give Alexa other capabilities designed for its vehicles. For instance, owners will be able to remotely tap into the camera embedded in Rivian’s pickup truck from Amazon screen-based services like Echo Show and Fire TV to check on whatever gear is stashed there. The integration also will allow access to certain Alexa features when the vehicle is offline, a decision meant to match up with how these vehicles might be used.

Rivian’s vision is to “enable exploration without compromises and provide our owners the best digital experience, no matter where their adventure takes them,” said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “We want this to be the most comprehensive, most seamless Alexa integration in the market.”

The Rivian announcement made ahead of CES 2020 is the latest to illustrate Amazon’s continued push into the automotive world. Lamborghini also announced Monday plans to bring Alexa to its Huracán EVO sports car.

Amazon has been moving into the car for a few years now through the integration of Alexa and car-focused delivery services, as well as its direct investment in Rivian. The e-commerce company also launched its Amazon Key service to let customers give delivery drivers access to their house with the help of a compatible keypad on their door and a smart security camera. But in 2018, that service expanded to the car with its Key by Amazon In-Car delivery service.

GM and Volvo were the first participants in the Key by Amazon In-Car delivery service. Ford joined the in-car delivery service in April 2019.

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