The new developer kit from Amazon is enabling in-car entertainment using Alexa. Now manufactures will be able to install Alexa into car dashboards.
If adopted by vehicle makers, drivers of Alexa-enabled cars will be able to use voice to listen to music in-car without the need for extra hardware. This means no GPS routers, no music player. Alexa and only Alexa. After all other voice-controlled functions enabled by the Alexa Auto SDK include making calls, navigation and searching for local restaurants, landmarks etc.
The Alexa Auto SDK simplifies the integration of Alexa into in-vehicle infotainment systems. The SDK brings the Alexa experience that has delighted customers at home into the vehicle. It adds automotive-specific functionality and contextualizes the experience for the vehicle. – Amazon Blog
The Auto SDK will be different from Apple’s CarPlay or Android Auto whose main function is to both allow smartphone users to access and operate their phone’s home screen within a car’s dashboard.
[Alexa Auto] includes source code and function libraries in C++ and Java that enable your vehicle to process audio inputs and triggers, establish a connection with Alexa, and handle all Alexa interactions. It also includes sample applications, build scripts, sequence diagrams and documentation – supporting both Android and QNX operating systems on ARM and x86 processor architectures.
Since the 2016 launch, Amazon Music has surpassed “tens of millions” of paying subscribers. They had stated having over 20m subscribers. This figure includes both Amazon’s premium Music Unlimited subscribers and its music-listening Amazon Prime members, who are offered a limited-catalog platform for free.
Thanks in part to a two-year head start, Amazon is ruling the home speaker market. The Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo took a 70% share of the 50m smart speakers that were sold in the US by August this year, according to CIRP research.
Google Home took a 24% share while Apple HomePod has 6%, after launching in May this year.
Amazon is positioning voice control at the center of its music streaming service, aiming to become the digital equivalent of going into a record store and asking for recommendations and music that users don’t know the title of.