Amazon Brings Alexa to More Cars with New Auto SDK

In an effort to make it easier for automakers to integrate Alexa voice control into cars and their infotainment systems, Amazon has today released an open source Alexa Automotive Core (AAC) SDK or Auto SDK, that has been optimized for bringing Alexa to in-car dashboards, VentureBeat is reporting.

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The new Auto SDK can do things Alexa can do in a smart speaker, such as control smart home devices, check the weather, and launch Alexa skills. While carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and General Motors have already introduced some Alexa Skills in their vehicles, the launch of new Auto SDK represents the first time Amazon has made a development kit especially for vehicles.

The Alexa Auto SDK includes core Alexa functionality, such as speech recognition and synthesis, and other capabilities such as streaming media, controlling smart home devices, notifications, weather reports, and tens of thousands of custom skills. Additionally, the SDK provides the hooks required to connect to a wake word engine, local media player, local phone, and local navigation system.

  • Calling: Enable customers to specify a contact name or phone number and Alexa will instruct the native calling service in the vehicle to place the call.
  • Media streaming: Enable customers to stream audio from popular media services, such as Amazon Music, Audible, and iHeartRadio, and display album art and other info to the head unit.
  • Navigation: Enable customers to set the destination of the native turn-by-turn navigation system by specifying an address or point-of-interest and cancel navigation when the user does not need it anymore.
  • Local search: Enable customers to search for restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, hotels, and other business, and navigate to the location.

The software development kit is free for download on GitHub, and can be used to enable Alexa control for common tasks like playing music, providing turn-by-turn directions from native navigation systems, helping people find local businesses, and making phone calls.

You can learn more at Amazon’s website here.