Is Amazon's Fire TV for Auto the Next Big Thing for Premium Cars?

Amazon Fire TV for Auto 1 photo
Photo: Jeep
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer will be the company's first SUV to sport the iconic nameplate in 30 years, but it will also be the first vehicle to offer built-in Amazon Fire TV. Will Jeep set a new trend for the premium market?
Jeep wasn't kidding when it said that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer would take the brand higher on the premium ladder. The SUV will be loaded with luxury features and state-of-the-art tech, including built-in Amazon Fire TV. Designed specifically for car use, Fire TV for Auto will basically turn the Wagoneer into a cinema on wheels.

This car-spec version of Fire TV will be very similar to the Amazon streamers you are already using in your home. They will enable you to stream and download content from the Amazon library and will also include Alexa voice command support. Want to play your favorite movies and TV shows? Just ask Alexa to find it and stream it.

Like any streaming platform out there, you'll be able to sync your in-car Fire TV to your account so you can continue watching your shows on the road. You'll be able to do so from the passenger seat via a high-definition screen mounted in the dashboard or from the rear seats via rear-seat infotainment. Both displays will probably be optional for most Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer trims.

The main Uconnect 5 screen on the center stack will also include Fire TV streaming capability, but it will work only when the vehicle is in park mode. In short, you won't be able to stream video on the main screen while driving.

Fire TV for Auto will also come with a specific remote control with push-to-talk access to Alexa. Another button will connect Fire TV to the Uconnect 5 infotainment system to access vehicle features such as climate controls and navigation. You can find out where you are and feel comfortable at all times.

Seeing how Fire TV for Auto will have more than one purpose, I can't help but ask myself whether the Jeep Wagoneer will be the first of many premium vehicles to adopt this tech. Rear-seat entertainment has become the norm in luxury products from Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, and Bentley, and now it's slowly but surely trickling into less expensive brands.

Sure, you won't be able to get Fire TV for Auto in any Kia or Toyota just yet, but more and more carmakers are now adding infotainment displays on the passenger side. This should see infotainment systems expand to include more built-in tech like Fire TV for Auto. It took Android Auto and Apple CarPlay only a couple of years to become regular features in just about any car brand out there, so Fire TV for Auto could follow suit.

The lack of passenger-side displays is basically the only thing keeping Fire TV for Auto away from cars right now, but this will surely change in a couple of years. Rear-seat entertainment systems are more common than before, and they will probably soon expand to every midsize and fullsize vehicle out there. Jeep's Fire TV for Auto likely won't be a novelty anymore in 2022.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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