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Volkswagen unveils Alexa-enabled technology at CES

Each year, thousands of technology enthusiasts gather at the North America Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. This year, marked Volkswagen’s third annual appearance and the North American debut of the I.D. concept, a fully-autonomous electric car. Scheduled to arrive in 2020, the intention is for self-driving hardware to come standard.

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Per Christian Senger, VW Head of e-Mobility, the cost to offer a fully-autonomous option could be as much as an entire Golf. Therefore, the goal for I.D. in 2020, is to equip the car with semi-autonomous features. You can read more about the I.D. Concept here. It is expected that the production iteration of the I.D. will retain approximately 80 percent of the concepts design features.

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Alongside the I.D. concept, the Volkswagen e-mobility team also announced the integration of Amazon’s assistant Alexa to VW vehicles. Using simple tap-to-talk functionality drivers can execute tasks such as controlling smart home features, playing music, getting directions, handling notifications, providing location-based reminders, even ordering replacement parts for their car.

However, the team in Germany has gone a step further by including car-centric features, making the experience more robust. Alexa can let you know the status of your car when you’re not in it. Find out if the doors are locked, how much fuel is remaining in the tank, and if the car is charging and what the range is (for EV models). Alexa can also unlock the doors and even beep the horn in the event you can’t locate your car.

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The system can also assist with navigation by providing directions and telling you how long it will take to get to your destination. Alexa can send the direction to your car’s navigation system so it’s loaded and ready go when you are.

For a more in-depth look at what we revealed at CES, read the full media release.

Legal: US media release. Some of the information may not be applicable to the Canadian market.

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