EMMAs

Telenav integrates Amazon Alexa into automotive navigation systems

Alyssa Clementi

Telenav, Inc., a provider of connected-car and location-based services, has partnered with Amazon to bring the Alexa smart assistant to Telenav’s automotive navigation system. Amazon says the collaboration will enable Alexa device users to use the cloud-based voice service to seamlessly transfer conversations, questions or tasks from an in-house Alexa device to a connected vehicle.

Using Alexa Auto SDK, drivers will be able to use voice command to ask Alexa to enter destinations, check traffic, and ask for directions. Telenav aimed to make the Alexa experience more 'continuous', explaining that customers could make a restaurant reservation from their home using Alexa, and by the time they get in their car, directions to the restaurant will be ready on the connected-navigation system. Alexa would also be able to tell the user when to leave the house to make the reservation on time.

“Our native integration of the Alexa Auto SDK within the Telenav connected software system provides OEMs with a turnkey solution that significantly improves their customers’ overall experience, while minimizing the effort and risk of integration for the OEM,” said Sal Dhanani,  co-president of automotive business unit at Telenav. “Telenav is not merely adding voice-recognition software to the car, it is making voice-based services like Alexa compatible with drivers’ needs and vehicle safety standards, ultimately expanding opportunities for consumers to have a single integrated voice service available at home, on mobile, and in the vehicle.”

According to recent surveys from AutoTrader, consumers are more likely to take technology into account when purchasing their next car. 64 per cent of consumers say they would pay more for technology features while purchasing their next vehicle, and 87 per cent of consumers who are likely to a buy a car in the next year say they will research technologies before making a purchase.

“Navigation is among the most popular use cases for in-car technology, and we’re excited to be working with Telenav to make it easier for automakers and suppliers to support voice-first navigation through Alexa,” said Ned Curic, vice president of Alexa Auto at Amazon. “Using the Alexa Auto SDK, Telenav is helping make Alexa a truly integrated part of the in-car navigation system, and providing customers with a more useful, consistent experience at home and on the go.”