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Cars Connect With Your Fridge

Even now, Amazon’s voice-activated home assistant, Alexa, can order up an Uber ride or find out how much gas is in a car’s tank while the driver is still in the house.

BMW announced this month that its Connected services would enable Alexa owners to lock the car doors and check car battery levels from the comfort of their sofas.

Ford Motor plans to introduce Alexa integration into vehicles, including the Escape and Fusion, before the end of this year, said James A. Buczkowski, who oversees advanced engineering at Ford.

“Your spouse could add things to the shopping list, which your car would alert you to,” Mr. Buczkowski said. The updated list could then automatically tip off the car’s navigation system about where to pick up the last-minute items.

The first generation of connected systems like G.M.’s OnStar were focused on helping drivers when they were lost or their cars broke down, and the second generation has been about connecting the dashboard to smartphones for streaming live traffic information or audio services like Pandora, said Mr. Moinzadeh at Airbiquity.

The next generation, he

Make Self-Driving Cars

 Automobiles will cooperate with BMW to develop self-driving cars, the companies said Wednesday, as traditional automakers look to defend their turf against cash-rich Silicon Valley giants eager to upend the industry.

Autonomous vehicles are expected to transform the auto industry within the next decade. The new technology pits established carmakers, with their decades of experience and global supply chains, against the likes of Google and Apple, which have much greater financial resources as well as greater expertise in the software that will be crucial to the development of driverless vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler has struggled more than most carmakers to compete in this new world because of meager profits. The company has largely stayed on the sidelines while rivals like Volkswagen or General Motors moved into technology-oriented businesses like car sharing or digital mapping.

But on Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler said that it would join BMW’s existing alliance with Intel and the chip maker’s newly acquired self-driving technology unit, Mobileye. Fiat Chrysler and BMW said they were open