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cars

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Volkswagen plans to integrate Amazon Alexa with its vehicles

Just yesterday Ford announced that it was planning to bring Alexa support to its cars in the coming months, and now a second auto maker is apparently on-board. Amazon says that Volkswagen has decided to build Alexa into its vehicles and launch a new Alexa skill. There's no information about a timeline or supported models, but it's happening.

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Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is coming to Ford vehicles

Amazon has successfully turned Alexa into a capable home automation and assistant platform, but it's about to branch out from your home. Amazon and Ford are partnering to bring Alexa to the car. Not only can you control your car remotely, you can use Alexa commands while driving it.

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Hyundai announces support for Google Home control of cars via Blue Link

Hyundai has been pretty quick to take advantage of Google features over the years. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata was the first car with Android Auto at launch, for example. At CES 2017, the company has announced that users of Hyundai's Blue Link service can now use Google Home to issue commands to their cars.

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The first Waymo self-driving car is a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan

Google announced last week that it was getting out of the self-driving car business. That doesn't mean self-driving cars won't be a thing around Mountain View anymore; the project is simply being spun off into its own Alphabet company called Waymo. Now, Waymo CEO John Krafcik has posted some details of the company's first self-driving vehicle. It's a minivan built in cooperation with Chrysler.

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Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May launch new DriveTribe social network, Android app now on Google Play

If you're a car person, like me, you'll have been an avid fan of Top Gear - until the classic line up of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May departed for the big-budget 'The Grand Tour' on Amazon. The first episode aired almost three weeks ago now, but the three have something else in store: DriveTribe.

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Samsung acquiring Harman for $8 billion in cash to beef up connected car tech

You have almost certainly heard the name Harman when it comes to audio products, but the company has spent the last few years getting big into automotive technology as well. That's what piqued Samsung's interest in the company, and now the Korean tech giant is putting a lot of cash on the table to become a player in connected car tech. The $8 billion deal will be Samsung's biggest acquisition to date when it closes.

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InBrief
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Mercedes and Kia add new Android Auto models

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Hyundai's DIY Android Auto update system expanded to four new cars, including the Sonata Hybrid and Veloster

It must be nice to have a car with a media system that can be updated - some of us are lucky just to get Bluetooth. Some Hyundai owners can actually upgrade their in-car entertainment systems to give them Android Auto support, and today that list expands by four according to Cnet. Owners of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid (standard and plug-in), 2016 Veloster, and 2015/2016 Azera can now get some sweet, sweet Android Auto action with a download and a bit of legwork.

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Android Auto launches in Japan today

Android Auto works in a few dozen markets already, but until today Japan was not among them. Google has announced that its in-car platform is available in Japan effective immediately, and several cars will be ready to accept Android Auto connections just as soon as Japanese users can find a USB cable to plug in.

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The Uber app will soon tell drivers to drive safer and buy a damn phone mount

Until such time as Uber can replace human drivers with robots (and it really wants to), it has to deal with people doing stupid things on the road. In an effort to make Uber safer for passengers, the company will start reminding its drivers about safety measures in the Uber app. This program will launch in 11 cities over the coming weeks, and more cities will be added soon.

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