Ford and Lincoln customers with Amazon Alexa Built-in can now teach Alexa to perform vehicle functions based on their preferred phrasing thanks to new, enhanced Car Control capabilities. Ford will treat customers to world-first demonstrations of the technology at the New York International Auto Show this month.
With enhanced Car Control, customers can tailor Alexa to their natural way of speaking, and personalize Alexa to suit their everyday vocabulary. For example, if they say, “Alexa, I’m cold,” Alexa will ask what action should be taken, such as: “I can increase the temperature by 5 degrees or turn off the AC. What should I do?” Similarly, customers can teach Alexa personalized phrases to use with their familiar voice commands, such as, “Alexa, set the AC to full blast,” or “Alexa, set the temperature to cozy.” In this case, Alexa will recognize the supported voice command pattern and seek clarification from the customer to learn what “full blast” or “cozy” means to them specifically.
This feature, which leverages Alexa’s teachable AI technology, adds to what is planned to be the auto industry’s broadest rollout of the Alexa Built-in hands-free experience, with Ford and Lincoln uniquely offering complimentary access to key Alexa features for up to three years. This rollout began with the 2022 F-150, Bronco, Mustang Mach-E, Edge, newly launched Expedition, Nautilus and newly launched Navigator – soon expanding to the 2022 F-150 Lightning™. Vehicles with Alexa Built-in will automatically include enhanced Car Control functionality when available.
“Ford pioneered SYNC in-vehicle voice technology, and Amazon’s Alexa voice AI continues to advance the industry with more innovative, personalized experiences,” said Yvonne Gloria, supervisor, Ford Core Speech Technology. “We are making it even easier for drivers to stay focused on driving by using more voice commands because you can now train your vehicle to do tasks based on your preferences and how you naturally speak.”
Ford followed the breakthrough SYNC launch by being first to bring Alexa to vehicles in 2017, and today continues to expand customer choice as nearly 80 percent of American consumers say they want the same voice service in their car as they do at home, according to JD Power.
“We are always working to improve the in-cabin experience, and core to that is making it easier for customers to naturally interact with Alexa,” said John Scumniotales, GM and director for Amazon Smart Vehicles. “The enhanced Car Control features offer customers a new level of personalization—and demonstrating this functionality with Ford is an important step toward our vision of conversations with Alexa feeling as familiar as speaking with a family member or friend sitting in the passenger seat.”
Starting next week, New York International Auto Show attendees can visit the Ford stand to see the world-first enhanced Car Control demonstrations in the soon-to-launch F-150 Lightning electric pickup. The Alexa experience will also be demonstrated in a Ford Expedition during public show days, April 15-24, 2022.
The demonstrations also will show how customers driving Ford or Lincoln vehicles can use Alexa to listen to music, navigate, control smart home devices, add items to a shopping list, and more. Alexa capabilities delivered through available SYNC 4 Technology with enhanced voice technology provide the convenience of hands-free, voice-initiated interactions – minimizing the need for drivers to view or touch screens and helping them keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Customers can interact with their vehicles naturally and say things like, “Alexa, find the closest gas station”, or “Alexa, play my road trip playlist” or, “Alexa, call Mom.”
Ford customers can access the benefits of Amazon’s world-class voice AI and intelligent features both inside and outside their vehicle. Combined with the FordPass Alexa skill3 – which customers can continue to use to control vehicle functions such as start4/stop engine, lock and unlock doors, check vehicle range or tire pressure all from the comfort of their home – Ford is bringing smart homes and connected vehicles closer together.
1 Access to Alexa requires an Amazon account, SYNC 4®, FordPass Connect, and complimentary Connected Service activated through the FordPass App (see FordPass Terms for details). Eligible 2022 Ford vehicles receive three years of access to Alexa Built-in and 30-days of complimentary streaming media services that begin on the new vehicle warranty start date, after which fees apply. See your Ford account for information. Connected service and features depend on compatible AT&T network availability. Evolving technology/cellular networks/vehicle capability may limit functionality and prevent operation of connected features. FordPass App, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available via a download. Message and data rates may apply. Amazon, Alexa and all related marks are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
3 Requires FordPass™ Connect and FordPass Connect Service
4 Automatic transmission vehicles only
5 Requires power door locks