Genesis, Hyundai's new luxury division, today said it will be the first company to allow users to control a variety of car functions remotely using Amazon Alexa voice commands.
An increasing number of automakers have smartphone connectivity to their vehicles. But the Genesis technology is new to the auto industry because it pulls in a third party -- Amazon -- allowing yet another means of connecting to and controlling a vehicle's functions.
Available on the Genesis G80 now and on the G90 when it goes on sale in several weeks, the setup will use Amazon's wireless devices in the home -- the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap -- to do things like lock or unlock the car, turn on the vehicle and set the temperature or honk the horn.
The Amazon devices use a voice command system called Alexa that can perform a variety of web-enabled tasks -- as outlined by Alec Baldwin's Super Bowl ads -- such as stream music, order items from Amazon.com, read the weather or news and order an Uber ride or a pizza.
The Genesis tie-in will be free to use and the automaker will provide buyers with an Amazon gift card to be used to purchase an Alexa-enabled device.
Genesis is the first automaker to introduce Alexa-based connectivity to automobiles, though rivals such as Ford and BMW have promised similar abilities in the near future. Being the first to market helps draw much-needed awareness to the nascent Genesis marque.
"Being early is great but hopefully this shows our commitment to staying on the leading edge of technology and integration and in particular the overall progressive nature of our brand," Genesis General Manager Erwin Raphael told Automotive News.
Genesis' system does not connect from the car to the house -- so using commands within the car to turn on a home's connected lights or garage door -- isn't yet possible.
But Mr. Raphael added: "Stay tuned."
-- David Undercoffler is a reporter for Automotive News