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  • Ford Enhances Alexa With Artifical Intelligence

    Ford Enhances Alexa With Artifical Intelligence

    Talking to Alexa is easier than ever before for Ford and Lincoln customers with Amazon Alexa Built-in. The automaker says drivers can now teach Alexa to perform vehicle functions based on their preferred phrasing thanks to new, enhanced Car Control capabilities.  The tech is delivered through SYNC 4 with enhanced voice technology.

    Enhanced Car Control means that customers can tailor Alexa to their natural way of speaking, and personalize Alexa to suit their everyday vocabulary. For example, if a driver says “Alexa, I’m cold,” Alexa will give them choices like: “I can increase the temperature by 5 degrees or turn off the AC. What should I do?”  Other driver questions include: “Alexa, find the closest gas station”, or “Alexa, play my road trip playlist” or, “Alexa, call Mom.”

    Customers can also 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.


    Alexa-Auto-Use-Cases-credit-fordFord says 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.

    The rollout started with the 2022 F-150, Bronco, Mustang Mach-E, Edge, newly launched Expedition, Nautilus and newly launched Navigator.  Ford says it will soon expand to the 2022 F-150 Lightning which arrives this spring.  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 says it was the first to bring Alexa to vehicles in 2017 and says 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.”

    If you're visiting the New York International Auto Show going on April 15-24, you can see a demo of the technology in the soon-to-launch F-150 Lightning electric pickup and Ford Expedition. It 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.  

    The technology isn't just for in-vehicle use. Ford says customers can access the benefits of Amazon’s world-class voice AI and intelligent features outside their vehicle, too, using FordPass Alexa. It allows customers to do things like start/stop engine, lock and unlock doors, check vehicle range or tire pressure all from home.

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    Photo Credit:  Ford.