Amazon just announced the launch of Alexa Auto, an aftermarket device that plugs into the car’s infotainment system and brings Alexa skills into the vehicle — including integration with our maps and navigation. This gives drivers the power of real-time traffic, incident-aware routing, fully customizable maps, and the ability to keep running even when the car loses network connectivity — in dash, and powered by their voice.
Here’s what happens when you use our Alexa integration:
Once Alexa hears that request, it reaches out to our Directions API, pulling down turn-by-turn directions and maps right to the car’s dashboard using Qt Automotive Suite (Qt 5.9), Kanzi, or Android. Our HD map format turns real-world coordinates into a local tile grid. This means a long sequence of coordinates is represented as sequence instructions. This radically saves bandwidth for streaming data to a car and reduces storage size for larger area coverage offline.
You can also ask practical questions, like finding a gas station on the way to a destination.
“Alexa, where is the closest gas station.”
“There is a gas station in 2.4 miles up ahead, would you like to stop for gas?”
Alexa then talks directly to your maps, updates the directions to make a stop at the gas station using the Optimization API. After your stop, you can get back in the car and Alexa will remember your original trip. The API returns an array of waypoint objects. Each waypoint is an input coordinate snapped to the road and path network. The waypoints appear in the array in the order of the input coordinates, or in the order as specified in the destinations query parameter.
You just say:
And Alexa remembers the original address and says it right back to you:
“Ok, we’re continuing our trip to Costco on Wake Forest Road. Traffic is light, and you will arrive in 30 minutes.”
Check out our code and email me (Richard.Hurlock@mapbox.com) to get set up.