Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Ford CEO Mark Fields announced that later this year the company would be rolling out an updated feature in its connected cars to sync with Amazon's digital assistant Alexa and smart home device Echo.
"This will allow Ford owners to interact with their vehicle hands-free from their home and engage their home's smart features while on the road," Fields said.
Amazon Vice President Greg Hart joined Fields on stage to explain how the partnership will look in reality. He explained that while sitting in your kitchen, you can ask Alexa to start your car or check its battery, mileage, or gas levels. On the flip side, you can be in your car on your way home and turn on your TV or lights or open the garage door.
While the technology won't be available until later this year, Ford is demonstrating the system during CES.
One of the larger themes at CES, as explained by Forrester analysts, is this vision of an interconnected, smarter life where all objects can talk to each other and share information. But as Forrester analyst James McQuivey said, there has yet to be one single smart platform that stands out as the winner -- not Amazon's Alexa or Ford's Sync, and not Google's (GOOG) or Apple's (AAPL) solutions, either.
"That's why Google is jumpstarting the digital home, Apple is pushing on digital health, and Amazon has built an odd personal assistant in the form of a speaker tower," McQuivey said. "They're all trying to nudge people toward this networked future. And none of them will have much to say at CES to promote this eventual vision because it's just too hard a proposition to sell. So they'll sell Trojan horses instead, promising a point solution for now while laying the groundwork for the bigger vision."
On top of Ford's Internet of Things announcement, the CES session also revealed some updates to its autonomous car testing, such as a newer sensor from Velodyne. Fields also claimed that Ford has the largest autonomous development fleet on the roads, with 30 autonomous vehicles.