In an interview with the website Rides & Drives, Lexus International president Yoshihiro Sawa spoke on integrating third party technologies into Lexus vehicles, with an emphasis on natural language technology like the Amazon Alexa voice service:
“Right now, [Lexus is] focused on the easy integration of technology. Our brand is about the product and everything that surrounds it. In the future, you will have a personal digital agent that will be with you everywhere…It’s all about connectivity and will require an alliance between many industries to create this future. We will be at the center of this alliance.
Before getting into your car to go from A to B, you can already know the shops and restaurants that you will find there – curated specifically for your tastes and needs. Becoming a Lexus owner will give you access to a whole world of amenities. For our owners, the journey does not end at the destination.”
It would appear that the Alexa integration in the new 2019 Lexus ES sedan marks the beginning of a new openness for Lexus, and rightfully so — home automation technologies are an everyday convenience for luxury consumers, and pretty soon these same consumers will expect their vehicles to behave in the same way.
(With this in mind, Lexus would be smart to integrate Android Auto as soon as possible.)