Rivian will integrate Amazon Voice assistant Alexa in the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV, the company's first electric vehicles, which will be launched at the end of the year.
Rivian said on Monday that there are also plans to expand Alexa integration to 100,000 electric vans that Amazon has ordered from the automaker. The electric delivery vans are expected to deliver packages to customers from 2021.
Integration with the R1T and R1S gives owners access to standard Alexa features like music playback, making calls and navigation, as well as the ability to control the climate, open and close the trunk, and other vehicle functions.
Rivian said it plans to give Alexa other skills designed for its vehicles. For example, owners can remotely access the camera embedded in Rivian's pickup from screen-based Amazon services such as Echo Show and Fire TV to check what equipment is there. The integration also allows access to certain Alexa functions when the vehicle is offline. This is a decision that should correspond to the use of these vehicles.
Rivian's vision is "to enable exploration without compromise and to provide our owners with the best digital experience no matter where their adventure takes them," said Rivian's founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. "We want this to be the most complete and seamless Alexa integration on the market."
The Rivian announcement before CES 2020 is the latest example of Amazon's continued entry into the automotive industry. Lamborghini also announced Monday plans to bring Alexa to his Huracán EVO sports car.
Through the integration of Alexa and auto-focused delivery services and the direct investment in Rivian, Amazon has been getting into the car for several years. The e-commerce company also launched its Amazon Key service, which allows customers to give delivery drivers access to their home using a compatible keyboard on the door and an intelligent surveillance camera. However, in 2018, this service was extended to the car by the Amazon In-Car delivery service key.
GM and Volvo were the first participants in the Key by Amazon in-car delivery service. Ford started delivery service in April 2019.