Amazon’s teaming up with a major automaker to create car ‘cockpits’
Here’s what to expect from the new Amazon and Stellantis agreements.
Amazon and Stellantis announced a series of collaborations on Wednesday that will integrate the tech company’s software into the automaker’s catalog of cars. Some of the digital features will be installed through the production process, and others will be sent straight to drivers through over-the-air software updates.
Behind the scenes, Amazon and Stellantis engineers will work together to support products across Stellantis’ suites of global brands, which includes Fiat, Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge, among others. Amazon Web Services will become Stellantis’ preferred cloud provider for vehicle platforms, as well.
For drivers, the most recognizable change will be a new software system for tools like navigation, maintenance, and entertainment. According to a press release from both companies, this platform, called the “STLA SmartCockpit,” will be customized by vehicle brand and model with additional personalizations and upgrades available through an app store. Notably, the companies boast that the SmartCockpit may have AI-enhanced entertainment applications and Alexa-enabled voice assistance. It will also individually “adapt to customers’ behaviors and interests,” the companies claim, such as offering road trip planning options in popular family vehicles that could suggest on-the-go entertainment and possible stops.
While these features won’t begin rolling out to customers until 2024, they build on an existing partnership between the two companies. Drivers can already access some of Amazon’s services in existing Stellantis vehicles. Select models, like the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, now offer Amazon Fire TV, and there are Alexa integrations available across Stellantis’ global fleet.
Stellantis has provided Amazon with “tens of thousands” of delivery vehicles since 2018. As part of another newly announced Stellantis-Amazon agreement, Amazon will be the first commercial customer for Stellantis’ Ram ProMaster Battery Electric Vehicle. According to The Verge, the design for these electric vans has not yet been revealed, but the joint press release says it has been created “with input from Amazon,” which has committed to reaching a net-zero carbon goal by 2040. These vehicles are expected to be deployed by the thousands for Amazon order deliveries starting in 2023.
Of course, if you drive a relatively low-tech vehicle and are just keen to have Alexa capability in your car, an Echo Auto will do the trick.