Voice assistant arrives at Huracán EVO
Amazon is taking a bigger step in cars today by integrating Alexa with Lamborghini’s Huracán EVO, and not just to ask questions or remotely control your home – it is giving the assistant the ability to control settings inside the car, without using their hands. The partnership was originally announced last year as part of Amazon’s drive for cars, but the integration goes beyond Alexa’s usual bag of tricks.
Alexa’s integration allows users to control “climate and comfort settings, including air conditioning, heater, fan speed, temperature, seat heaters, defroster and airflow direction, as well as lighting,” says Lamborghini. (He can also open a screen showing the car’s torque vectoring and traction control.) Of course, Alexa also has her own set of skills for interacting with her smart appliances, playing music and podcasts and basic navigation.
The Huracán EVO has some physical controls on the steering wheel and the driver’s side door, but most of the car’s features are adjusted via a screen on the center console. Giving Alexa more control over the car itself means less time hunting and pecking at menus – “Alexa, I’m hot” is apparently enough to make the air conditioner work – and more time with your eyes on the road, which can be a victory for safety and convenience.
Alexa will not drive your car, but give it a break.
The automotive industry’s move from controls like buttons and dials to fully touchscreen-based displays is underway, and we have even done a series of analyzes examining automotive displays as gadgets a few years ago. Amazon tried to help smooth the transition with Alexa-enabled Echo Auto in the past, but we found that the accessory worked better as a simple speakerphone and Bluetooth adapter in our review – tasks that required location awareness or a consistent cell connection malfunctioned. Huracán EVO’s implementation of Alexa, with all the benefits of actually having real control over a connected car, may be a better version of the idea.
Amazon and Lamborghini are not the only car manufacturers / technology companies that are dealing with the problem of the car’s built-in software. Volvo’s Polestar 2 was launched in 2020 with integrated Android Automotive and integration with Google Assistant for similar control over settings like air conditioning, something that was not part of the old Android Auto. We like the Polestar software created by Google, although very similar to the Lamborghini, it comes with a high price.
The new Huracán EVOs should have the feature from the start, but Lamborghini says that all existing Huracán EVO customers can be adapted with Alexa support, free of charge.