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Amazon wants you to talk to Alexa in your car, even when you're not online

  • Amazon rolled out Alexa Onboard, a new voice control system for your car that works even when you're offline.
  • Panasonic is one of the first partners to add Alexa Onboard to its in-car audio device.
  • This is all part of Amazon's goal to bring Alexa everywhere, including your car.
The speakers are pretty good on the Echo Plus
Todd Haselton | CNBC
The speakers are pretty good on the Echo Plus

Amazon is taking its popular Alexa voice control system offline — to your car.

On Monday, Amazon introduced Alexa Onboard technology, which lets users access the Alexa voice assistant through their car's infotainment system. That means drivers or passengers can play music, ask for directions or get other information simply by speaking to the car's audio system.

Panasonic, one of the first partners for Alexa Onboard, made the announcement at CES. The new system also makes certain Alexa services available offline, allowing people in the car to interact with Alexa even when there's no network connection.

"Enabling some of these capabilities even without an Internet connection is revolutionary," Tom Gebhardt, president of Panasonic Corporation of North America, said in a statement.

Amazon has been aggressively pushing Alexa to be available in third-party products, all with the goal of making its popular voice assistant available "everywhere," including automobiles.

Amazon has already partnered with Ford and Hyundai for in-car availability.

But the partnership with Panasonic is important because it gives Amazon another channel into the auto market. Panasonic is the market leader in the vehicle infotainment space, with an 11.5 percent market share, according to a 2016 report by Strategy Analytics. Another study, by Research and Markets, estimates in-car infotainment will grow into a $30 billion market by 2022.

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