Amazon is taking a bigger step into cars today by integrating Alexa into Lamborghini’s Huracán EVO, and not just for asking questions or remotely controlling your home – it gives the assistant the ability to control the settings inside the car, hands-free. The partnership was originally announced last year as part of Amazon’s pressure on cars, but the integration goes beyond Alexa’s usual bag of tricks.
Alexa integration allows users to control “climate and comfort settings, including air conditioning, heater, fan speed, temperature, seat heater, defroster and airflow direction, as well as lighting,”
The Huracán EVO has some physical controls on the steering wheel and driver’s door, but a majority of the car’s functions are adjusted through a screen in the center console. Giving Alexa more control over the car itself means less time looking and hacking through the menus – “Alexa, I’m hot” is apparently enough to get the air conditioner running – and more time with your eyes actually on the road, which can be a gain for safety and convenience.
This is not how Alexa wants to be driving your car, but give it time.
The automotive industry’s shift from controls such as buttons and dials to touchscreen screens has been underway, and we even ran a series of reviews that examined car parts as gadgets a few years ago. Amazon tried to help smooth the transition with Alexa-enabled Echo Auto in the past, but we found that the accessory worked best as a simple speakerphone and Bluetooth adapter in our review – tasks that required location knowledge or a consistent mobile connection did poorly. Huracán EVO’s implementation of Alexa, with all the benefits of having real control over a connected car, could be a better version of the idea.
Amazon and Lamborghini are not the only carmaker / technology company tackling the problem of embedded car software. Volvo’s Polestar 2 was launched in 2020 with built-in Android Automotive and Google Assistant integration for similar control over settings such as air conditioning, which was not part of the old Android Auto. We liked Polestar’s Google built-in software, but much like Lamborghini, it comes with a high price tag.
New Huracán EVOs should have the function from the jump, but Lamborghini says that all existing Huracán EVO customers can be retrofitted with Alexa support, for free.