DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. has aligned itself with two of the biggest tech giants for the next six years to improve in-vehicle connectivity.
A deal announced last week with Amazon will bring in-vehicle Alexa voice capability to about 700,000 Ford vehicles in the U.S. and Canada this year through over-the-air updates.
The automaker, which made a separate deal with Google several months ago, said the move marks the industry's "broadest rollout of the embedded Alexa hands-free experience to date." Customers will be able to use in-vehicle voice commands to make a phone call, find parking and control the lighting or temperature in their homes.
Ford said the Alexa capabilities will expand to millions of vehicles in the coming years. In addition, Ford and Amazon will develop Alexa skills for commercial vehicles and use artificial intelligence to help business owners better organize fleets.
The partnerships come shortly after Ford started offering over-the-air updates to the Mustang Mach-E and F-150. Future updates will include the activation of Ford's BlueCruise hands-free driver-assist system.