While we often think about chat bots and voice-controlled services as technology that impacts other industries to a greater degree, the truth of the matter is that these programs also have a place firmly in the heart of the automotive world's future. Don't believe it? Then ask Amazon's Alexa about the Kia Niro the next time you get a chance.
As the team over at Motor Trend explains, this Korean car manufacturer has reached a deal with the world's most popular smart speaker system to provide customers with a new way of gathering information – and potentially setting up a purchase – related to the Kia Niro sport utility vehicle (SUV). Specifically, Alexa users who are interested in learning more about the Niro can ask about its fuel efficiency, cargo space, passenger amenities, and even pricing for the vehicle's various trim packages.
Should the user want to take things a step further, Alexa is prepared for this outcome as well. Specifically, pinging local dealers to see if they have any Kia Niro SUVs in stock and even scheduling a test drive are all part of this voice assistant's new automotive-centric functionality.
Though this agreement between Kia and Amazon does herald a significant step toward voice assistant technology playing an increased role in the car buying process, it is far from the first such inroads into the industry by Alexa. From Genesis providing the ability to control climate settings, lock and unlock doors, and initiate other commands on G80 and G90 models to Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system allowing for Alexa functions within the vehicle, Amazon's voice-oriented chat bot has shown time and time again that it is more than willing to build lasting bonds – and increased functionality for Alexa users – with some of the biggest names in the automotive world.
Could Amazon be angling to bring Alexa along for the ride with a wider array of automobiles as more and more vehicles integrate infotainment and smart car functionality? To learn more about the potential future of Alexa and the automotive industry, feel free to dig into the official release announcement from Kia or check out the full story from the Motor Trend editorial team on other side of the link below.