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Volkswagen Uses Amazon’s Alexa To Answer Questions During ID.4 Test Drives

Taking a test drive can be a little awkward, especially for introverts. Your first experience with a car might end up being with a complete stranger sitting in the back seat, and it’s a stranger who’s looking for ways to get the sale. At worst, they’ll ask awkward and deceptive questions, like, “So, what’s your current monthly payment?” At best, it’s a little awkward. At worst, it’s an experience that can make you feel very uncomfortable.

At the same time, though, it’s nice to have someone you can pose questions to if you don’t know much about the car. While not all dealer salespeople are very knowledgeable about the car, some can be very helpful and they can aid you in getting a better understanding of what you’re getting into.

For people who feel like they’re facing this conundrum, Volkswagen has a creative solution it is developing for people taking ID.4 test drives. Customers in select areas will be able to schedule in-person Alexa-led test drives of the ID.4 SUV this fall. Following a brief tour of the vehicle with a Volkswagen Product Specialist, customers will go on a real-world test drive with Amazon Alexa as their guide.

“In our push to bring EVs and electromobility to all, we need to find new and exciting ways to talk to our customers,” said Andrew Savvas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Volkswagen Group of America. “This collaboration with Amazon does just that. Future Volkswagen owners can experience all our ID.4 has to offer with the aid of a voice service they’ve already come to know.”

The Alexa-guided test drive is accessible through an Echo Auto device on the vehicle’s dashboard. Participants start to get a sense for the ID.4’s driving characteristics and may ask Alexa for more information about its numerous features. For example, if you ask Alexa about the available massaging seats, she’d say: “The seat massage function is available in the front seats of the ID.4 Pro S and Pro S with Gradient. If you’d like to try it, just ask, ‘Alexa, how do I turn on the massage feature.’”

With Alexa, you can get questions answered about the ID.4 such as its battery life, how to charge the car, whether or not it has a blind spot monitor, regular maintenance costs, and much more.

In collaboration with Amazon Ads and Amazon Web Services, the “Test Drive with Alexa” program — designed to provide participants fresh, entertaining answers as Volkswagen strives to educate and democratize the electric vehicle experience — addresses questions in a unique and engaging way. Customers now have the option of test driving a Volkswagen without being under any additional pressure.

Test drives last around 30 minutes, but customers should probably schedule 45 minutes to finish the whole experience. Once the test drive is over, customers can go to the participating Volkswagen dealership and get more details on how to reserve their ID.4

The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV and the brand’s first global EV. The ID.4 competes in the world’s largest market segment — compact SUVs — and features performance, packaging, and value that have marked the brand for decades. It utilizes VW’s MEB electric vehicle architecture and tries to maximize the strengths of a purpose-built EV in a compelling value-for-money way. The ID.4 is currently produced in Germany, China, and at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory, with deliveries built domestically due to start later this year.

 
 
 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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