Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be the first customer to use the artificial intelligence software of Amazon’s AMZN Alexa to create their own personal assistant systems in vehicles.
Amazon announced the new Alexa Custom Assistant on Friday and said FCA will be the first to deploy it. The technology, in theory, should enable a driver to roll down windows, activate audio systems or navigation requests by voice command.
“Our customers expect to easily connect with their digital lifestyles wherever they go and today we responded with plans to offer new intelligent experiences built on Alexa’s world-class voice AI technology,” said Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA – North America, in a statement. “We look forward to the expanding partnership with Amazon and the integration of Alexa Custom Assistant within our powerful Uconnect system.”
FCA began integrating Alexa in its Uconnect 5 operating system about a year ago.
The custom assistant is based on Amazon’s voice recognition technology, intent routing and response system to improve the technologies ability to understand and respond to users’ commands.
FCA, or any other customer, can create their own voices for the system. Alexa’s voice recognition experts will guide them through the recording process and develop the voice using advanced learning algorithms.
“We are pleased to work with FCA as the first automotive partner to implement Alexa Custom Assistant in its vehicles,” said Ned Curic, Alexa Automotive vice president, in a statement. “FCA has made it a priority to offer an intelligent assistant experience their customers will love, and we are excited to collaborate with them to deliver that capability.
Amazon is seeking other customers for the new iteration of Alexa, which can be used for mobile applications, smart properties, video games and other consumer electronics.
The e-commerce giant contends that using Alexa’s underlying technology will be faster and less expensive than what customers would spend to create their own system from scratch. Customers can have their software developers use the Alexa Skills Kit to create new options.
Fiat Chrysler is in the final stages of its merger with PSA Groupe to create Stellantis, which would be the world’s fourth largest automaker after Volkswagen, Toyota and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.
Shareholders of FCA and PSA approved the merger last week. The transaction is expected to close as early as Jan. 16.