Amazon’s hugely popular Fire TV streaming platform is already available in a wide variety of devices – from affordable HDMI dongles to more expensive set-top boxes with hands-free voice control, soundbars and built right into smart TVs. However, Amazon has big plans to further expand its television empire.
And the next frontier for Fire TV could be infotainment systems in the car. Really.
Prepared away from electric cars, but quickly becoming the standard in the auto industry, large touchscreens are commonplace in modern vehicles. Amazon sees these screens as a great opportunity to bring blockbuster Prime Video shows like Clarkson’s Farm and The Boys to the streets. These are of course aimed at the passengers – not the person behind the wheel.
In an interview with Protocol, Amazon Vice President Daniel Rausch said: “We are seeing interest in the auto segment. Screens are coming to cars in greater numbers and I’m very keen to be where customers want to be entertaining, which frankly is almost everywhere, including on the go.
“It’s not just about streaming in the living room. The 5G connectivity will change that too, because you simply get a high quality connection everywhere in your car. “
Amazon announced its first partnership between the Fire TV team and Dutch automaker Stellantis back in March, which has already resulted in new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models with Fire TV in the entertainment systems being shipped.
The front infotainment screen can access Fire TV services when the car is parked.
During the entire journey, passengers in the back seats can use the rear screens to access Amazon’s extensive collection of apps and streaming services. After all, Fire TV not only offers access to Amazon’s own Prime Video service, but also to industry giants such as Netflix, Disney +, BBC iPlayer, Shudder, Apple TV + and many more.
The screens offer touch controls as well as a dedicated Fire TV For Auto remote control that also comes with Alexa voice control.
Connected via mobile data, Alexa can be used to interact with smart home gadgets – set thermostats, turn off lights – when traveling to and from home. Amazon sells a special Alexa car device to retrofit the hands-free AI assistant in your vehicle. If you want to watch Fire TV on the go, you’ll need to get a new car.
“I would give a lot to go back and have that option for the rear seat entertainment system in our car when I had three kids in about 20 months,” added Rausch.
If you’re new to the market for a new car, it might be worth dusting off a portable DVD player or investing in a tablet to keep impatient passengers entertained.