A number of carmakers have introduced Amazon Alexa voice commands that can activate the locks and climate control on their cars, but Toyota is going a step further with Alexa integration by bringing Alexa into the car. Starting in 2018, Toyota will join the likes of BMW by offering the full Alexa voice-controlled app in Toyota and Lexus vehicles with either EnTune 3.0 or EnForm 2.0 infotainment systems. Though Toyota doesn’t specifically say which models, we suspect the Camry and Sienna will be the first, since they’re the only Toyotas with EnTune 3.0. With Lexus, the LC, NX, RC, and LS models all have available EnForm 2.0, so any or all of those could get Alexa this year.
Toyota suggests a number of ways users could use Alexa in the car, such as for taking notes and setting reminders, activating apps, or for controlling other smart devices, such as the heating and cooling on your house. That suggestion rings strongly to those of us in the midst of the bomb-cyclone winter storm. We imagine you’ll probably even be able to order goods from Amazon, too.
One thing that is strange is that Toyota has made this leap in connectivity, and yet you still can’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on any Toyota or Lexus. This is especially odd as it’s safe to assume more people own and use Apple and Android products on a daily basis and on the road than Amazon Alexa. Not to mention the fact that almost every other automaker offers both systems on their vehicles.
Either way, mobile Alexa presents some interesting possibilities and is sure to be appealing to fans of the Amazon service. And while only a few models will be available with it in 2018, Toyota and Lexus will expand availability in 2019.