Amazon’s quest to get its digital assistant into as many things as possible just took another step. Alexa will now help interpret spoken commands in the upcoming Rivian R1T pickup and the R1S SUV.
The digital assistant will be able to help you make calls, control HVAC and audio without using your hands, and can even open the windows or the trunk. Alexa will even be able to help you when there isn’t internet, since these are vehicles designed to be taken on adventures on billboard ads.
Alexa will also be factory-installed onto the fleet of 100,000 EV delivery vans that Amazon ordered—which makes good sense.
Those vans are expected to hit the road in 2021 while the production versions of the R1S and R1T are expected to be unveiled at the end of this year.
Amazon is among Rivian’s major investors. Last year, the tech company was among a group of investors that led a $700 million funding round last year, though the company did not reveal exactly how much money it had invested.
Ford, too, is interested in Rivian, having invested $500 million in the company. Ford will benefit from that investment in its own way, having announced that it will sell EVs based on Rivian’s platform.
The R1T and R1S are planned to be capable of 400 miles of range on a charge and will allegedly be capable of getting to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds, which you probably don’t want to if you have anything in the bed.