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“Alexa, start my Jeep Cherokee now.”

by Chris Vander Doelen on

The 2018 Jeep Cherokee will come equipped with a virtual passenger in the back seat: Amazon’s sweet-talking Alexa.

Jeep’s new Tech Connect package adds Amazon to its tool kit, which means drivers will be able to tell their Cherokee – via Alexa – to lock or unlock doors, start or stop the engine, check tires and fuel and even program the navigation system for the impending road trip while they finish breakfast.

Presumably, drivers will also be able to order new tires, ballet slippers for the kids and dinner from Whole Foods while driving. Alexa and an Amazon Dot and all her “skills” come with the optional 8.4-inch Uconnect system.

 

FCA doesn’t say how much the Tech Connect Package costs on its own, only that the MSRP for for the 4 X 2 version of the Cherokee equipped with Alexa will be $26,190, while the 4 X 4 version goes for $27,690.

Alexa and her bag of tricks isn’t free, either – except for the first three months. The 2018s come with a 90-day subscription to Amazon’s music streaming and Audible spoken word services, plus a one-year subscription to Sirius radio.

FCA didn’t say whether the package is being considered for the rest of the company’s lineup, but that would be a logical assumption, as one of our commenters suggests in an Allpar Forum.

Ned Curic, Vice President Automotive at Amazon Alexa, hints that Cherokee might just be a beachhead for the tech company in its unspoken war against Apple, Google and whoever else it might seek to vanquish.

“Voice is a big part of the future because it can simplify everyday tasks like these and we are excited that Jeep is bringing this level of connectivity to customers,” Curic says in the FCA release.

Alexa, tell me what Siri thinks about all this?

Chris Vander Doelen was Opinion Editor and columnist of The Windsor Star until December, 2016; He was the Star's automotive reporter and columnist for seven years, and had also covered the political and gambling beats. With his wife, Veronique Mandal, he wrote the book Chasing Lightning (1999). Chris won a National Newspaper Award in 1997 and more than a dozen provincial news awards. There is a Chrysler 300 in his driveway.


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