Nissan has announced the addition of Amazon Alexa voice assistance compatibility in its cars. The integration will be added in the form of an Alexa 'skill', which will allow users to use Alexa as a voice assistant in cars, as well as a remote connection bridge. The integration of Alexa services will be a part of the NissanConnect Services, and will be rolled out as a free addition to select existing Nissan cars.
To avail Alexa's assistance, owners of certain Nissan cars will first need to register Alexa with their registered Nissan IDs. Once the registration is done post upgrade, users can apply voice commands to carry out functions such as remote starting of engine, un/locking of doors, flashing lights, and other such functions. The voice command system is still a bit messy, as you'd need to give a rather elaborate command to execute a task. For instance, to start the engine of your Nissan GT-R, you'll need to say "Alexa, ask NissanConnect Services to start the engine of my GT-R". While that itself takes more time than to simply start the engine yourself, we presume Nissan and Amazon will refine the process of voice commands in future.
On top of that, you will also need to key in a four-digit PIN to start the engine with voice commands. This bit of redundancy is added to ensure that you do not unintentionally start the engine when the brakes are not pulled and a gear is engaged. That, though, makes the addition of Alexa a bit redundant on face value, as it does not really ease the process of usage, and only the particularly sedentary Nissan owner with a distaste for physical action would find this intuitive. Where it really helps, though, is that Alexa will act as a connected bridge between your car, home, and other setups. The Amazon ecosystem is powered entirely by the Alexa voice assistant, which means that you can access your connected home services while on the road. This can be key in the immediate future, as more smart home ecosystems are being set up, and such systems call for a unified assistant to stitch together home, car, office and other locations.
The Amazon Alexa compatibility will be rolled out to compatible Nissan vehicles with existing connected telematics services, launched 2016 onward. Nissan has so far announced selective connectivity with Alexa, and features such as live graphic weather, traffic and news updates via the infotainment system may be added later.