Today at CES 2023, Panasonic Automotive Systems, a global expert in connected automotive infotainment solutions and division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, announced a joint collaboration with Amazon to update its SkipGen in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system by demonstrating an industry-first automotive integration that provides customers simultaneous access to "Hey Siri" in Apple CarPlay or Alexa by simply speaking either service’s wake word.
For example, customers will now be able to use "Hey Siri” for iPhone features in Apple CarPlay, or Alexa for in-vehicle controls and more. This ultimately increases customer value by providing simultaneous access to Siri and Alexa with their corresponding capabilities on a single system.
The integration has been enabled through the Voice Interoperability Initiative (VII). Launched in 2019 by Amazon, the Voice Interoperability Initiative (VII) brings together leading companies who are committed to providing customers choice and flexibility to interact with multiple voice services on one device. The initiative launched with 35 companies, and that number is now over 90 members strong: leading brands around the world such as Samsung, Disney, Verizon and Skullcandy have developed new and innovative multi-simultaneous wake word experiences to engage customers.
The integration for SkipGen is enabled by the Alexa Auto SDK and the “Hey Siri” feature for iPhone voice requests in Apple CarPlay.
The Alexa Auto SDK includes source code in C++ and Java and libraries that enable your vehicle to process audio inputs and triggers, establish a connection with the Alexa service, and handle all Alexa interactions in a way that is contextualized for the vehicle. In addition to enabling core Alexa functionality such as wake word detection, speech recognition, and synthesis, the SDK offers capabilities for customizing car control features, monitoring and controlling smart home devices, getting weather reports, interacting with media playback, executing local search and navigation, and accessing local voice control to use certain Alexa features when internet connectivity is unavailable.
“Voice interoperability as offered on the SkipGen system is a great example of the powerful experiences that can be unlocked with Amazon’s latest Automotive SDK,” said Anes Hodzic, VP of Amazon Smart Vehicles. “We’re thrilled to partner with Panasonic Automotive to enable this functionality for automakers, and continue on our vision to deliver personalized, proactive, and intuitive digital experiences that delight drivers and passengers.”
Today’s announcement is the latest example of leading brands providing customers with simultaneous access to multiple wake words. In 2022, at the Amazon Devices and Services event, BMW announced that it will develop its next-generation voice experience with Alexa Custom Assistant (ACA). ACA enables device makers and service providers to create intelligent assistants tailored to their brand personality and customer needs, and BMW is leveraging the service to provide a wide range of in-car features and services. Programs like the Voice Interoperability Initiative (VII) — of which BMW is a member — illustrate how Amazon is promoting the ability for customers to simultaneously interact with multiple voice AIs on any smart device, including the ability to use ACA alongside Alexa.
You can learn more about the Voice Interoperability Initiative here, and visit this page to learn more about the Alexa Custom Assistant. To get started with the Alexa Auto SDK, please visit the Alexa developer portal.