Jeff Judge

How Voice Transformed Our Company

Two years ago, we did something that transformed our company. We developed and launched the first voice-activated parking skill on the market for our ParkWhiz brand. 

What seemed like a fun and simple exercise has led to tremendous opportunities for our company. For two years, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Amazon developers to create the best skill possible for Alexa users at home and in the car. We became an Alexa Fund portfolio company. Today, the ParkWhiz Skill for Alexa Automotive was demoed in a vehicle at Amazon's annual hardware event.

Why is voice so important?

Voice adoption is growing at a rapid rate and technology is advancing quickly. According to a study by Amazon and JD Power, a majority of U.S. consumers want voice technology in their vehicles. Specifically, more than 80% of Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z said they want some sort of voice service available in their cars. 

Arianne Walker, Chief Evangelist for Alexa Automotive, explains why voice is so appealing - especially in the vehicle.

Building a Voice-Powered Customer Experience

Building on the bleeding edge of a new platform like voice from the ground up is a complex and fast-moving process.  Along the way, we learned a few things:

  1. The best companies have a very high bar for customer experience and, when it comes to consumer experiences, Amazon is the best of the best. Embedding emerging technology like geolocation and Amazon Pay into the Skill was key to providing users a better experience and a more seamless path to purchase. 
  2. A simplified user experience is necessary for the in-car voice experience. Since users will be driving, maintaining focus while conversing with Alexa is critical. We needed to simplify our skill for the vehicle by providing drivers the best parking option near their destination, and eliminating as much back and forth conversation as possible. 
  3. Success only comes with constant communication and iteration. Weekly check-ins and joint planning sessions were critical in testing and iterating the Skill - making it the best it can be.

Two years in, we’ve just begun to tap the potential of voice, AI, and connected vehicles. We’re proud to be on the cutting edge of voice and building innovative solutions for the in-car experience.

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