Panasonic has announced a deal to introduce Alexa-enabled in-vehicle infotainment systems to automakers, combining its intelligent Skip Generation Platform with Amazon’s Alexa Onboard technology.

Featuring online and offline capabilities, the service will allow drivers to interact with Alexa in-vehicle, allowing voice control of popular in-car tasks such as air conditioning, audio, navigation, and hands-free calling. It will work in conjunction with Panasonic’s Skip Generation In-Vehicle Infotainment system, an Android-based dash system that can be modified by OEM manufacturers for different applications, acting like a turnkey automotive product with Google Assistant capability.

“When drivers have access to familiar Alexa contextual commands and responses from inside the car, it opens up a new world of experiences OEMs can offer – enabling some of these capabilities even without an Internet connection is revolutionary,” said Tom Gebhardt, President, Panasonic Corporation of North America. “The Panasonic and Amazon initiative to deliver automakers this capability signifies Panasonic’s commitment to lead in the automotive industry, and one that will continue as we work with companies like Amazon to transform IVI solutions.” 

Like Amazon’s suite of Alexa products, including the Echo, in-car functions will activate using Amazon’s wake word, “Alexa.”

Panasonic has been a critical player in the OEM infotainment industry, forming partnerships with Chevrolet, FCA, and Ford to introduce MyLink, UConnect, and SYNC3. These infotainment platforms already integrate features such as voice-activated commands, hands-free calling, 911 assist, music search, and “app links” which integrate popular mobile apps such as Aha! and Pandora into the dashboard.

Both companies have already demonstrated the technology at Panasonic’s press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today.