Amazon aims to roll out auto innovations

By BLOOMBERG | 24 September 2021

The first generation Echo Auto.

SEATTLE: Inc. is developing a bevy of new devices and services as it delves into additional markets.

The tech giant is working on the initiatives at its Lab126 division, which created hit products like the original Echo and the Alexa voice assistant.

The Seattle-based company is holding a launch event on Sept 28 for new devices and services, and some of these product details could be announced at that time.

Other products may be launched next year or beyond - or get scrapped if they don’t show enough promise.

One of the areas it sees as showing great potential is automotive.

Amazon is working on a second-generation model of its Echo Auto technology codenamed Marion.

The current product, which has been panned by some consumers, pairs with a smartphone over Bluetooth and lets you access Alexa through a car’s speakers using the device’s microphones.

The updated version will have a new design and may be able to charge a user’s device with inductive technology.

Amazon is forging closer relationships with carmakers as well. The company recently launched a deep partnership with Ford Motor Co. to embed Alexa in 700,000 cars this year.

That system lets a user access Alexa directly from the dashboard entertainment system without needing a phone, downloading an app or pressing a button.

Amazon is now exploring additional deals with automakers to get Alexa into more cars.