Voice Search and Its Impact on the Automotive Industry – Part 2

By: josh0 comments

In Part 1 of Voice Search and Its Impact on the Automotive Industry we covered: 

  • How to use your authority as an auto dealer to be a trusted source for voice-search product info
  • How voice search optimization goes hand in hand with standard SEO
  • Steps to start marketing with voice search 

Since then, there have been some developments in voice search technology and the auto industry that we’d like to share and expand on.  Whether you’re a dealer or just a curious gearhead, the expanses being made in this realm are nothing to turn your nose up at, so let’s dive right in! 

Alexa Takes the Wheel… Figuratively Speaking

As Voice Search continues to grow in popularity, manufacturers haven’t been shy about jumping on the bandwagon.  While some brands are able to connect with Alexa thanks to iOS and Android apps, one automaker is taking this integration to the next level. 

After conducting a number of studies based around infotainment systems and consumer satisfaction, GM decided it was time for a change.  In order to provide a seamless voice search experience between home and vehicle, GM will soon be offering Alexa Auto in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles.  According to a statement released by GM, these Alexa-armed vehicles should be hitting the market within the first half of 2020.

In addition to being able to use almost all of the other convenient Alexa commands, this pairing has given rise to a whole new selection of commands surrounding the topics of navigation, media, and phone calls.  Alexa Auto will merge with the OnStar turn-by-turn navigation system featured in these vehicles so you can simply ask Alexa to pull up directions for you, instead of having to manually search or punch in the address by hand.

Other Brands Integrating Alexa Auto

The electric automaker, Rivian, will also be sporting Alexa Auto within their fleet of Amazon delivery vans, while Lamborghini plans to integrate Alexa into the new Huracan Evo as well. From your everyday commuter to luxury sports cars and delivery vehicles, it’s clear that voice search technology is breaking into the automotive industry any way it can.

But what about consumers not using Alexa? I’m glad you asked.

Open Communication Between Rivaling Voice Assistant Tech Providers

 

Between Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, consumers often are faced with too many options when it comes to Voice Search assistance.  In an operative to combat this problem, a concerted effort is being made amongst Apple, Google and Amazon to improve voice assistant tech functionality amongst their different devices. 

The three tech giants aim to create an open-source standard that would allow all smart home (and potentially future smart auto) hardware to work together in one seamless fashion. So, in theory, this could mean that Alexa Auto will soon be able to integrate with your Google Assistant and Siri-oriented devices, but don’t quote us on it just yet.  This melding of the voice tech masses is on the horizon for the end of 2020 as manufacturers are still in the development process, but they already have the support of the Zigbee Alliance and other smart home tech developers to start.

What Role Does Microsoft Cortana Play in Automotive?

While Apple, Google, and Amazon have been collaborating to create open-source, voice-powered tech, Microsoft has been flying solo, working to improve its own conversational computing tech. The tech company is planning to embed the Cortana voice assistant deeper into their Microsoft 365 productivity apps, making it an integral part of all platforms and devices, like Windows PCs.

Amidst this development, it has been reported that Microsoft has been pulling support for the iOS and Android Cortana apps in several countries.  As their focus for the level of integration for this tech continues to shift, Microsoft will be killing off app support in Canada, Mexico, the UK, India, Australia, Germany, China, and Spain at the end of January 2020. An end date for the support of the Cortana apps in the U.S. has yet to be released.

Although any collaboration from Microsoft towards the open-source voice platform has yet to be reported, they’ve already dipped their pen in the automotive industry ink with Nissan and BMW.  While Nissan has teased about Cortana integration in the past, BMW successfully merged the voice assistant app into its tech offerings in late 2018. How their current agenda of shifting away from the standalone Cortana iOS and Android apps will affect these automotive integrations remains to be seen. 

How Is Voice Search Affecting Local Businesses Like Your Dealership?

So, the above is all well and good for OEMs and tech companies looking to maximize on this opportunity, but how does voice search actually come into play for your dealership?

Well, a wide selection of surveys has provided data showing that voice search continues to be a growing trend and that a whopping 58% of searchers use voice to find local business information.  Whether seeking out directions for the nearest Ford dealership or the best place to get an oil change, this is one way that voice search can directly lead smart device users to your showroom.  Of that 58%, 74% actively search for local businesses on a regular, weekly basis and we don’t expect to see those numbers dwindling as we continue marching into the Roaring 2020s. 

So how can you improve the voice search-ability of your own website?  Now we’ve come full circle.  Head on over to Voice Search and Its Impact on the Automotive Industry Part 1, and I’ll tell you all about it. 

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