LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2016 – Ford exploring to link smart devices like Amazon Echo and Wink to its vehicles. It allows consumers to control lights, thermostats, security systems and other features of their homes from their car, and to stop, start, lock, unlock and check their vehicle’s fuel range from the comforts of their couch.
“Consumers increasingly want to stay connected to their homes while on the move,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “Linking smart devices like Amazon Echo and Wink to vehicles via SYNC would fulfill that desire, and allow consumers to connect with their vehicles even when they aren’t behind the wheel.”
Ford is working to link the home automation devices with its vehicles through industry-leading Ford SYNC®. This comes as half of consumers say they will buy at least one smart home product in the next year, according to Icontrol Networks
Ford SYNC Connect and Amazon Echo
Amazon cloud-based voice service Alexa will be the main technology which Ford is trying to use new SYNC Connect technology to link vehicles, which would allow customers to access their vehicle from inside their home. Using Amazon Echo, a hands-free speaker and voice command device that interfaces with Alexa, Ford owners could request assistance with various functions of their car.
While driving Ford owners can request assistances like:
- Start/stop the vehicle
- State range and charge status of their electric vehicle
- Check fuel level/miles-to-empty
- State vehicle mileage summary
- Provide vehicle location with street name and driving time/mileage home
While at home
While at home, a Ford owner would experience an interaction such as this:
Owner: “Alexa, ask my Ford for my scheduled car start time.”
Alexa: “Here is the list of your current go times. You have a start time set for Monday at 7 a.m., with a cabin temperature set to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Tuesday at 5:45 a.m., with a cabin temperature set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Owner: “Alexa, ask my Ford for my car’s driving range.”
Alexa: “You have an available range of 56 miles.”
Features of Alexa
Alexa also provides a link to a variety of Internet-enabled smart devices, such as lights, home security systems, automatic garage doors and more.
From inside the vehicle, a driver would access Alexa through the steering wheel-mounted voice recognition button, allowing the driver to make requests of connected smart devices or functions of Alexa, including weather reports, music, shopping lists and more. For example, a driver nearing home could have the option to either press a button or say a command that opens the garage door, turns on the lights, and unlocks the front door.
“Connecting homes and cars is all about making life easier and convenient for our customers,” said Butler. “As smart homes and smart cars continue to evolve, SYNC technology makes it easy to implement features that will make life better and more convenient for our customers.”