Amazon is taking a bigger step into cars today by integrating Alexa into Lamborghini’s Huracán EVO, and not just to ask questions or remotely control your home — it’s giving the assistant the ability to control settings inside the car, hands-free. The partnership was originally announced last year as part of Amazon’s push into cars, but the integration goes beyond Alexa’s usual bag of tricks.
Alexa’s integration allows users to control “climate and comfort settings including air conditioning, heater, fan speed, temperature, seat heaters, defroster and air flow direction, as well as lighting,” Lamborghini says. (It can also pull up a screen showing you the car’s torque vectoring and traction control.) Of course, Alexa also has its own suite of skills for interacting with your smart home appliances, playing music and podcasts, and basic navigation.
The Huracán EVO has some physical controls on the steering wheel and driver side door, but a majority of the car’s features are adjusted through a screen in the center console. Giving Alexa more control over the actual car itself means less time hunting and pecking through menus — “Alexa, I am hot” is apparently enough to get air conditioning going — and more time with eyes actually on the road, which could be a win for safety and convenience.
It’s not like Alexa will be driving your car, but give it time.
The automotive industry’s switch from controls like knobs and dials to entirely touchscreen-based displays has been ongoing, and we even ran a review series examining in-car displays as gadgets a few years ago. Amazon’s tried to help smooth the transition with the Alexa-enabled Echo Auto in the past, but we found the accessory worked best as a simple speakerphone and Bluetooth adapter in our review — tasks that required knowledge of location or a consistent cellular connection did poorly. The Huracán EVO’s implementation of Alexa, with all the benefits of actually having real control over a connected car, might be a better version of the idea.
Amazon and Lamborghini isn’t the only automaker / tech company team-up tackling the problem of built-in car software. Volvo’s Polestar 2 launched in 2020 with Android Automotive built-in and Google Assistant integration for similar control over settings like air conditioning, something that wasn’t part of the old Android Auto. We liked the Polestar’s Google-built software, though much like Lamborghini, it comes with a high price tag.
New Huracán EVOs should have the feature from the jump, but Lamborghini says all existing Huracán EVO customers can be retrofitted with support for Alexa, free-of-charge.