Tesla rival Lucid Motors CEO partners with Amazon for Alexa

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Lucid Motors has worked with Amazon to integrate its voice assistant software into its first electric vehicle, and CEO Peter Rawlinson has dismissed concerns that the e-commerce giant poses a threat in the auto market.“I don’t think there is any competition there. We’re happy to have Amazon Alexa in our tech suite, ”Rawlinson said Thursday on CNBC’s“ Squawk Alley ”.

Rawlinson’s appearance came a day after Tesla’s rival unveiled its all-electric Air sedan, which will cost around $ 80,000 for a base model and go up to $ 169,000 for a volume Dream Edition. limit. Rawlinson was Vice President of Engineering at Tesla from 2009 to 2012, where he worked on the development of the Model S.

There has been speculation about the extent of Amazon’s ambitions in the automotive market. At the end of June, the company led by Jeff Bezos announced that it would acquire the autonomous vehicle start-up Zoox in a deal worth more than $ 1 billion. The Seattle-based company said Zoox will continue to operate as a stand-alone business within Amazon.

In September 2019, Amazon said it had ordered 100,000 electric vehicles from Rivian Automotive as part of its efforts to have its delivery fleet run entirely on renewable energy. Amazon previously participated in Rivian’s $ 700 million investment round announced in early 2019.

Lucid’s tie-up with Amazon will allow drivers “to fully enjoy the Alexa experience on the go … while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel,” according to a press release from Lucid Motors, which received a Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund investment of $ 1 billion in 2018.

Rawlinson pointed to the benefits of the Lucid-Amazon collaboration after being asked if the company has taken steps to protect its cloud software technology and the online selling titan.

“I see natural speech recognition is just perfect for the automotive industry,” said Rawlinson, who is also CTO at Lucid Motors. “It’s just the perfect app, and what’s better than Amazon Alexa?” So I don’t see any conflict at all. ”

Lucid plans to start producing Air early next year at its plant in Casa Grande, Arizona; the company’s schedule has been pushed back due to the coronavirus.

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