Alexa can now switch on your car and remotely set the climate control
'Alexa, warm up the car'
While Alexa might seem most at home actually in the home, switching on lights, playing music and reading the news whenever you ask her to, she is now able to take control of your car — to an extent.
The latest skill to arrive on the Amazon Alexa app is from Japanese car maker Nissan. Called NissanConnect Service, the skill gives Alexa the ability to unlock your car, sound the horn, turn the lights on and off, and even start the engine.
As well as all that, Alexa can also be asked to remotely set the climate control before you get in, which we think is pretty cool. Imagine asking Alexa to heat the interior up while you eat your breakfast on a cold winter's morning.
The NissanConnect Services app, which is basically what Alexa is controlling here, is available for a wide range of Nissan vehicles from model year 2016 through to model year 2018, and no doubt beyond as interest in Alexa shows no sign of slowing.
As with other third-party skills, asking Alexa to perform tasks via NissanConnect Services is a little clunky, as you've to ask her to ask the skill to do something. But given the upcoming Amazon Echo Plus connects directly to some smart home gadgets like Philips Hue light bulbs, we reckon Amazon will one day have Alexa talk directly to our cars, too.
Here is a selection of commands to try out with Alexa and your compatible Nissan:
Connect with a vehicle and launch a request
Select a specific vehicle
Remotely lock or unlock vehicle doors
Remotely turn on and off the horn
Start and stop the engine
Turn the lights on and off
And these are the Nissan cars Alexa can communicate with: