Hyundai Hears an Echo

While plenty of companies are talking about it, Hyundai is actually doing it: For those who have an Amazon Echo and a vehicle equipped with second-generation Blue Link (as in: all 2017 model Blue Link equipped vehicles; 2016 Genesis, Azera, Tucson, Sonata (SE, Sport Limited, Sport 2.0T, Limited 2.0T, Eco 1.6T), Sonata Hybrid (Limited Ultimate package), Veloster (Tech package), Elantra GT (Tech package); and 2015 model Genesis, Sonata, Azera) have—via an update—what they’re calling the “Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa.” Which means, quite simply, that when you talk to your Echo, the voice commands are sent to your Hyundai and allow you to do things like remotely start it and lock and unlock the doors.

While plenty of companies are talking about it, Hyundai is actually doing it: For those who have an Amazon Echo and a vehicle equipped with second-generation Blue Link (as in: all 2017 model Blue Link equipped vehicles; 2016 Genesis, Azera, Tucson, Sonata (SE, Sport Limited, Sport 2.0T, Limited 2.0T, Eco 1.6T), Sonata Hybrid (Limited Ultimate package), Veloster (Tech package), Elantra GT (Tech package); and 2015 model Genesis, Sonata, Azera) have—via an update—what they’re calling the “Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa.”

Which means, quite simply, that when you talk to your Echo, the voice commands are sent to your Hyundai and allow you to do things like remotely start it and lock and unlock the doors.

HYUNDAI ADDS BLUE LINK SKILL FOR AMAZON ALEXA - StartCar

Later this year Hyundai is going to roll out its IONIQ Electric and Plug-in Electric vehicles and there is additional functionality, as starting and stopping the charging of their vehicles.

“Our customers increasingly want more ways to interact with their vehicles, especially when they are hustling to get out the door,” says Barry Ratzlaff, Executive Director, digital business planning and connected operations, Hyundai Motor America. “Linking smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Apple Watch to vehicles via Blue Link continues to fill that desire. Allowing consumers to send commands to their car is just the beginning.”

The beginning of what isn’t entirely clear, but it is evident that Hyundai is working hard to advance the state of connectivity for their vehicles. If you realize that vehicles like the Elantra are in the compact category—as distinct, say, from a vehicle like the Genesis—this is an indication of the democratization of advanced technology.