Bring Alexa into your Car: An Interview between Ted Cardenas, Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. and Arianne Walker, Chief Evangelist for Alexa Auto

Arianne Walker May 27, 2020
Aftermarket Alexa Built-in SDK Automotive

Walker: We are very excited about the latest launch of Alexa with Pioneer Electronics. Can you tell us the details of what was just launched?


Cardenas: On May 6, 2020 the line-up of Pioneer 2020 NEX in-dash receivers featuring Alexa Built-in using the Amazon Alexa Auto SDK that we showcased at CES became available for purchase.  


Walker: Each Alexa integration is a little bit unique. What is unique about Alexa in Pioneer receivers?


Cardenas:  In addition to the breadth of Alexa Auto SDK functions and Alexa skills, Pioneer has developed a specific skill that allows customers to use Alexa to control certain functions of the Pioneer in-dash receiver, such as switching the audio playback source (Bluetooth Audio, USB, tuner, etc.), changing radio presets, changing audio settings (bass/treble levels, equalizer settings, etc.) and more.


Walker: Why was it important to you to integrate Alexa into your receivers?


Cardenas: Pioneer Electronics is the global leader in automotive aftermarket devices (products that replace the existing car stereo components that came with the vehicle to add new features or improve the sound quality) and we pride ourselves on our history of integrating exciting and new technologies into the vehicle that can enhance the customer’s experience.  Alexa is a perfect fit for the automotive environment, allowing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, while enabling drivers and passengers to stay entertained by accessing things like music or communicate with friends and family.  Implementing Alexa into the automotive aftermarket allows the consumer to expand their Alexa experience to practically any vehicle, new or old.


Walker: What was the integration process like?


Cardenas: Integrating the Alexa Auto SDK into the receivers was easy, convenient, and let us bring the product to market much faster. The Amazon Alexa Auto team has been both supportive and flexible throughout this project and we look forward to co-developing more Alexa Built-in Pioneer products in the future.


Walker: What will your customers be most excited about?


Cardenas: Many automotive aftermarket customers are also tech enthusiasts and use Alexa in their homes. People are looking for a solution such as the Pioneer 2020 NEX in-dash receivers that bring a similar Alexa experience into their vehicles.  The ability to ask Alexa to play music, make calls, set reminders, control or check the status of compatible smart home devices and add items to their Amazon shopping list are just a few of the features we expect our consumers to value.


Walker: And what are you most excited about?


Cardenas: Overall, the ability to extend the convenience and integration of Alexa from the home to the car is exciting, but many Pioneer team members are most excited about being able to offer true e-commerce or shopping to the vehicle.  We believe this is not only fun and convenient, but a critical feature of the driving experience of the future.


Walker: How can customers purchase a receiver with Alexa?


Cardenas: Customers can purchase a receiver through authorized Pioneer dealers (retailers) in the United States, Europe, and Japan.  Although retailers in many states remain closed due to the COVID-19 situation, the products effectively became available for purchase in states that have “re-opened” or through e-commerce channels.


Click here to find out more about the Pioneer receivers with Alexa Built-in.


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