Announcing the Alexa Auto Software Development Kit (SDK)

Arianne Walker Aug 09, 2018
Automotive News

At Amazon, we believe voice is the best way to interact with devices in nearly every setting. Our vision has always been for Alexa to be at your side, ready to help when you need it. We’ve already seen Alexa make customers’ lives more convenient and more productive at home and at work, and we’re excited to expand those capabilities so customers never have walk out the door without her. Today, we are announcing the Alexa Auto SDK to help simplify the integration of Alexa into in-vehicle infotainment systems, so that our customers can take Alexa on the road.

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What does the Alexa Auto SDK include?

The Alexa Auto SDK simplifies the integration of Alexa into in-vehicle infotainment systems. The SDK brings the Alexa experience that has delighted customers at home into the vehicle. It adds automotive-specific functionality and contextualizes the experience for the vehicle. It includes source code and function libraries in C++ and Java that enable your vehicle to process audio inputs and triggers, establish a connection with Alexa, and handle all Alexa interactions. It also includes sample applications, build scripts, sequence diagrams and documentation – supporting both Android and QNX operating systems on ARM and x86 processor architectures.

Alexa Auto SDK capabilities

The Alexa Auto SDK includes core Alexa functionality, such as speech recognition and synthesis, and other capabilities such as streaming media, controlling smart home devices, notifications, weather reports, and tens of thousands of custom skills. Additionally, the SDK provides the hooks required to connect to a wake word engine, local media player, local phone, and local navigation system.


Enable customers to specify a contact name or phone number and Alexa will instruct the native calling service in the vehicle to place the call.

Media streaming

Enable customers to stream audio from popular media services, such as Amazon Music, Audible, and iHeartRadio, and display album art and other info to the head unit.


Enable customers to set the destination of the native turn-by-turn navigation system by specifying an address or point-of-interest and cancel navigation when the user does not need it anymore.

Local search

Enable customers to search for restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, hotels, and other business, and navigate to the location.

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What is Alexa?

Alexa is a cloud-based service that powers devices like Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Plus, Echo Spot, Echo Dot, and more. The Alexa service is always getting smarter, both for features, and for natural language understanding and accuracy. Because Alexa’s brains are in the AWS cloud, she continually learns and adds more functionality, every hour, every day.