Echo Auto in Canada with Arianne Walker


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By Teri Fisher. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode, Teri welcomes Arianne Walker, the Chief Evangelist for Alexa Auto at Amazon, where she helps educate automakers and device makers about voice.

Welcome, Arianne!

Prior to joining Amazon, she was head of automotive industry strategy at Oracle Data Cloud where she helped automotive marketers discover and implement the best possible audience strategies for their marketing efforts. Her automotive background began at JD Power, where she spent a dozen years providing direction on automotive marketing industry trends.

Getting Involved in Voice

  • It all started from the auto industry for her. When she heard about the position of Chief Evangelist for Alexa Automotive, she was immediately attracted to it.
  • The idea of having a great voice assistant in the car was amazing for her, and she feels the car is the most appropriate place to use a voice assistant because it strips away the complexities and minimizes distractions.
  • She learned a lot since joining Amazon and she’s all about the consumer perspective of things to make sure the product always meets the needs of users.

Echo Auto

  • The device allows people to bring Alexa into their car.
  • It has an 8 microphone array which allows users to handle the variety of noises that exist inside the vehicle.
  • It uses a cigarette lighter or USB port to get power, and connects to a phone via Bluetooth for connectivity to the cloud.
  • Despite recent advances in cloud computing, machine learning and speech science, drivers consistently cite in-vehicle voice recognition among their top complaints.
  • Amazon’s Alexa Auto team is addressing this gap by extending the best of Amazon Alexa into the car, and building new vehicle-specific features that make customers’ daily lives, and time spent behind the wheel, easier and more convenient.
  • Their northstar for Alexa is to have it fully integrated into the vehicle experience which means having Alexa embedded into the infotainment systems of the vehicles themselves.
  • They had customers sending them pictures of themselves carrying their Echo Dots into their cars.
  • They have made a lot of progress in that area and are working with different companies like Pioneer to build automotive accessories and after-market car stereo that have Alexa built in to give their customers a variety of options.
  • The device uses the same amount of data as that someone would use when using their smartphone to access similar amounts of content.

Top Use Cases

  • People use Alexa in their vehicles to listen to music, podcasts, and the news.
  • They also use it to play games and communicate through phone calls.
  • Navigation is another major use of Alexa in the car.
  • People also use it for their personal needs like connecting to their smart home devices, adding reminders, or adding an item to a grocery list, and many other things.

Skills to Use in the Car

  • There are a few great Alexa skills to use in the car, including, Drive Time and Song Quiz
  • DriveTime is great for commutes while Song Quiz helps people to stay engaged with each other while in the car.

Adoption and The Future

  • It enables people to have the same voice assistant they have at home or in the office, in their car.
  • Doing things by voice in the car also ensures much more safety when people are driving.
  • There’s been a great response from the market ever since they released Echo Auto and they had actually received a million requests for an invite to test it out.
  • They expect the Echo Auto will meet the needs of different car owners regardless of the make and age of their cars. They anticipate that the Echo Auto will help users be productive and entertained from their vehicles for a very long time to come.

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