By Jamie Barrie

are Toyota’s new Camry and Sienna and the Japanese version of the plug-in Prius, though the carmaker plans to expand that list. AGL has been growing too, reaching 114 members currently, up 24 members from last year and yes, Amazon is one of them as the company has set a goal to keep people connected seamlessly to Alexa between their homes and cars as it goes head-to- head with Google Assistant. Amazon is in early talks with financial institutions including J.P. Morgan Chase to help launch checking account-like products, aimed at younger customers and those without bank accounts. This latest move by the e-commerce giant is a move to solve one of the biggest barriers to shopping on its website, that being not having a credit card. Statistics show more than a quarter of U.S. households have no or limited access to checking and savings accounts. For Amazon, this group of shoppers is increasingly vital to the company’s growth. With millennials increasingly more distrustful of banking institu- tions than their predecessors with 33 percent of millennials saying that they do not anticipate needing a bank account in the next five years, according to Goldman Sachs report in 2015 and that five years is only two years away in 2020. AMAZON WANTS TO GO CARDLESS

AMAZON LOOKING TO RING IN HOME SECURITY CUSTOMERS A Inc has agreed to buy California-based video doorbell maker Ring, in what analysts see as a growing bet on delivering packages inside of shoppers’ homes and on home security as this follows Amazon buying the maker of Blink home security cameras for about $90 million USD late last year. The Ring deal is valued at more than $1 billion USD and set to be one of Amazon’s most expensive takeovers, after its $13.7-billion USD deal last year for Whole Foods Market. Inc. is embracing open-source software in the race to get its voice-based Alexa digital assistant into cars ahead of Google. The company is working with Nuance Communications Inc. and Voicebox Technologies Corp. to develop an in-vehicle app compatible with several speech-recognition technologies, eliminating the need for developers to make multiple versions. The catch is that the cars must use Automotive Grade Linux, an open-source platform being developed by Toyota Motor Corp. and other auto manufacturers and suppliers to underpin all software running in the vehicle. The only cars currently on the system AMAZON’S ALEXA HITS THE ROAD



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