Volkswagen and Amazon are looking to redefine the automotive test drive by replacing the salesperson with the Alexa virtual assistant technology.
Starting this fall, VW customers in select regions of the United States can schedule an in-person Alexa-guided test drive of the ID.4 electric SUV.
While the test will start in regular fashion with a brief walkaround of the vehicle by a Volkswagen Product Specialist, participants will then embark on a real-world test drive with Amazon Alexa as their only companion. The Alexa guided test drive is enabled through an Echo Auto device on the vehicle's dashboard.
The test drive will be interactive, with participants invited to ask Alexa for more information of the EV's many functions as they drive it. According to Volkswagen, the virtual assistant is able to share information about the ID.4's features, including its battery, charging, blind spot monitor, connecting to infotainment, cost, regular maintenance, and much more.
Gallery: US-made 2023 Volkswagen ID.4
For example, a question about the car's available massaging seats will prompt the following response: "The seat massage function is available in the front seats of the I.D.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.'"
Created in collaboration with Amazon Ads and Amazon Web Services, the Test Drive with Alexa program is said to give customers the freedom to explore the car without any added pressure, with the virtual assistant providing fresh, fun answers.
"In our push to bring EVs and electromobility to all, we need to find new and exciting ways to talk to our customers. 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."
Andrew Savvas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Volkswagen Group of America
While test drives last approximately 30 minutes, customers should budget about 45 minutes for the entire experience. Volkswagen customers can sign up for the Test Drive with Alexa program on a landing page created with Amazon Ads, where they can also configure their own ID.4.