Hyundai announced Thursday that it has partnered with Amazon to let motorists use their home digital assistant Alexa to boss around their new Genesis luxury car.
From inside their homes, owners of Hyundai's
Genesis G90 sedan will able to use voice commands through their Amazon Echo speakers to command the Alexa system to have their cars perform certain basic functions, Hyundai says.
So, for instance, the customer who wants the car running and air conditioning blasting for a daily commute need only say something like, "Alexa, tell Genesis to start my car at 70 degrees." Or an owner might bark, "Alexa, tell Genesis to lock my car" from the comfort of their living room.
In addition, Alexa can flash the car's headlights, honk the horn or turn off a running engine.
The feature, which went live Thursday, shows that Hyundai is serious about setting Genesis apart since it announced last year that it would become a stand-alone luxury division, much like Toyota's Lexus or Nissan's Infiniti. The automaker's officials say they are first with the feature, which is an accomplishment given how makers of prestige cars compete vigorously for any edge when it comes to technology.
Plus, they say the feature is a perfect fit for Genesis. Being able to order basic functions by voice remotely will keep owners from having to run outside to do it themselves.
"The Genesis brand is about convenience for the owner," says Barry Ratzlaff, executive director of digital business planning and connected operations. "Time is the ultimate luxury."
Amazon's Echo has proved to be a hit and is believed to be forcing rivals to scramble to create their own home digital assistants. The system works much like Siri on Apple iPhones: Ask a question, get an answer. Alexa can field trivia questions or play music from a playlist. The Genesis function takes it into a new realm.
An Amazon spokesperson could not be reached for comment.