Drivers of a number of Ford vehicles will soon be able to speak to Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant. Uniquely, the system won’t require drivers to have their phones connected to the infotainment system.
Ford will include up to three years of Amazon Alexa internet connectivity, with one caveat. Users won’t have access to the Amazon streaming music database. Instead, they’ll have access to Alexa’s knowledge base that includes directions to nearby stores, restaurants and gas stations, as well as answers to various questions. The system will automatically recognize user requests, meaning drivers don’t need to press a button or sort through menus to activate Alexa.
Ford will begin rolling out Amazon Alexa compatibility to over 700,000 of its vehicles with the automaker’s Sync 4 infotainment software, including the upcoming Bronco as well as the existing F-150 pickup truck and Mustang Mach-E electric car.
Those 700,000 vehicles will make Ford’s Alexa integration the largest yet for Amazon. Ford says that existing vehicles with Sync 4 will be prompted to install an over-the-air software update as early as fall 2021.
Previously, Ford has offered Alexa through an app that had to be installed on a user’s connected mobile phone.
Ford offers two versions of Sync 4, including a version used on the larger 15.5-inch touchscreen it fits to the Mustang Mach-E electric car. The software includes access to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus the built-in Waze app. The software also features its own voice recognition software, which is different than Amazon Alexa. Find a Ford F-150 for sale