The test drive may have been part of the motoring experience since the day Henry Ford jumped behind the wheel of his quad bike and went for a ride on Detroit’s Grand River Boulevard.
Of course, Ford didn’t have a salesperson sitting next to him at the time, since there were no car dealerships in 1896.
Things changed quickly and riding with the salesperson became a staple of the car buying experience.
Consumer advocates strongly advise motorists to take this step before final sales are made, and the Internet is brimming with advice on how to get the most out of a test drive.
Virtual reality these days allows motorists to test drive a car using a VR headset.
And now Volkswagen (VWAGY) and amazon (AMZN) They come together to modernize the driving experience.
The automaker is offering customers in select regions the ability to schedule a personal driving experience of the Volkswagen 4 SUV’s electric ID with the guidance of Alexa, the retail giant’s virtual voice-control assistant.
“Future Volkswagen owners can experience all of our ID.4 with the help of a voice service they already knew,” Andrew Savvas, chief sales and marketing officer of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement.
After a short ride with a Volkswagen product specialist, participants will embark on a real-life driving experience with Alexa as their companion.
The Alexa-guided driving test is enabled through the Echo Auto device on the car’s dashboard. Participants will be able to ask Alexa for more information about the various vehicle functions.
Do you have a question about the massage seats available in the car?
Ask Alexa and it will tell you that the seat massage function is available in the front seats of the ID4 Pro S and Pro S with Gradient.
Want to experience it? Just ask “Alexa, how do I turn on the massage feature?”
Take a ride with Alexa
Alexa can share information about ID.4 features, including battery, charging, blind spot monitoring, infotainment connectivity, cost, and regular maintenance.
The test drive lasts about 30 minutes, but Volkswagen advises customers to allow about 45 minutes for the entire experience.
Volkswagen and Amazon ads have created a landing page where customers can sign up for a test drive with Alexa and configure their own ID.
Launched last year, ID.4 is the all-electric model from the Volkswagen Group.
In July, the American company Volkswagen celebrated the start of production of the car in Chattanooga, Tennessee, making it the first electric car to be assembled in the United States.
The automaker is looking to build 90,000 electric cars at the facility next year.
Alexa’s roots go back to 2013 when Amazon acquired Polish voice technology company Ivona Software. Alexa was inspired by the computer voice and conversation system found in the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek.