Rivian announced plans to integrate Amazon Alexa directly into the hardware of the EV automaker’s upcoming R1T pickup and R1S SUV.
Programmed directly into the vehicle’s connected car system, Rivian owners will be able to ask Alexa to control key vehicle features such as HVAC, windows, opening and closing the frunk, and more. Users will be able to check on their gear remotely by accessing the vehicle’s bed camera from screen-based devices like Echo Show and Fire TV.
The integration also allows Rivian to provide new “car-to-home” and “home-to-car” skills unique to its vehicles, as well as access to certain Alexa features when the vehicle is offline.
Offline control is key for Rivian’s electric adventure vehicles. Built for off-road use with the ability to travel up to 400 miles on a single charge, Rivian vehicles are designed to be taken to remote, rugged locations, often where cellular networks are inaccessible.
“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.”
Set to debut at the end of 2020 in the Rivian R1T and R1S, the integration also allows access to all standard Alexa features and capabilities – playing music, getting directions, placing calls, controlling smart home devices, and accessing tens of thousands of other Alexa skills – providing customers with a seamless experience from the home to the car and back again.
“We’ve continued to be impressed by the entire team at Rivian, and we’re excited to be working together on this upcoming integration,” said Ned Curic, Vice President of Alexa Auto at Amazon. “By leveraging the newest version of the Alexa Auto SDK, Rivian is able to make Alexa a natural part of the driving experience and provide customers with continuous access to key car control features – even in remote locations where reception is poor or nonexistent.”
In late September, Amazon announced it was ordering 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles. Rivian will also extend the Alexa integration supported in the R1T and R1S to these vehicles, which will start delivering packages to customers in 2021.
The Rivian team will be at the Amazon Automotive booth at CES this week (January 6-11) with the R1T pickup, providing a glimpse of the Alexa integration. Their booth is located in Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall – 5616.[source: Rivian]