Rivian R1T, R1S To Have Built-In Amazon Alexa Voice Control

It will come pre-installed, so no need for a phone or separate app.

Voice control has been around in cars for well over a decade, but it only recently started to become genuinely good and useful. The premium German manufacturers are leaders in this field, but a new name, EV startup Rivian, will soon challenge them with its full integration of Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa.

According to an official press release, both the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV will come with Alexa from the factory. It will enable occupants to speak to the car and it will understand commands for navigation, media, making calls, heating and ventilation, windows, opening and closing the front trunk and more. Some of these functions will even work when the vehicle is not connected to the internet, and this is an important point since Rivians are off-road-oriented and will probably reach places where cell network reception is poor or inexistent.

Amazon is currently working towards launching Echo Auto, a device that you can connect to your car and essentially have most of the functionality provided by a factory voice assistant. Unlike that solution, though, all Rivian vehicles will have Alexa already installed, without the need for any additional gadgets or software.

Rivian will also pre-install Alexa on the fleet of 100,000 all-electric delivery vans ordered by Amazon. According to the manufacturer, these EV vans will enter active service as of 2021, while the R1T and R1S production models will debut around the end of 2020. It will also provide its skateboard platform to Ford and Lincoln for models under these brands, but we don’t know if these will get Alexa too, in place of the manufacturers’ proprietary voice command solutions.

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