According to SBD Automotive, built-in connectivity is largely what is accelerating voice-assistant adoption, especially for the assistants developed by automakers.
But "OEMs are looking for small points of differentiation," Hannah said, "and if they see that their competitor has Amazon integration, for example, and they don't, obviously they're going to want to enable such a feature to not lose those customers."
Collection and ownership of the data created by these technologies creates another potential source of friction between the auto and tech industries, Rhodes said.
"We really have kind of two phases of tension," he said. "One is, if I'm an automaker, can I own the user experience? And I think what we're seeing in the market play out is, yes, you can still own it even if you integrate consumer electronics from mega companies because you're integrating in your own way.
"The other tension, which is much less settled, is who owns the data? What exactly are they asking for? And is this really the gold mine that people think it is? And if so, why would I let somebody else tap into that?"
The auto industry's hesitancy is heightened as companies witness how online shopping on Amazon.com has wracked traditional retailers.
Ned Curic, Amazon's vice president for Alexa Auto, said after a tour of the company's Seattle facilities that he understands the tension between automakers and big tech. But in Curic's eyes, the two sides aren't true rivals.
"You can't say — quite often I hear this expression — 'Well, tech companies are going to kill automotive.' It's, like, good luck," Curic said. "It's not going to happen because it's just difficult to build, produce reliable cars at the scale that they do. I have an utmost respect for car companies."
But, he added, "partnerships are important. They have been always important for the automotive industry. Now, they are looking for new partners and suppliers, and ... now they have to partner — they need to partner — with the likes of Amazon and others."