A recent video of an R1T owner showing his truck’s Alexa frunk control feature hints that Amazon might be more than an investor at Rivian.
The e-commerce giant could contribute some of its technology to households across the United States to Rivian vehicles, starting with Alexa.
Over the weekend, Rivian R1T owner Travis Munson shared a brief clip of Alexa opening his truck’s front trunk or frunk. While the R1T’s frunk can be opened through a button on the truck’s steering wheel, using an Alexa voice prompt might be infinitely more fun for owners.
Besides revealing an awesome new use for Alexa for Rivian owners, Munson’s video also showed the potential symbiotic relationship between the EV startup and Amazon, which revolves around technology rather than funding. Amazon has a whole catalog of smart home tech solutions that might make for a more holistic ownership experience for Rivian owners. Between Amazon and Rivian, owners could experience a more streamlined ecosystem between their cars and their homes. Alexa could bridge the gap between Rivian vehicles and Amazon’s smart home tech.
Amazon is heavily invested in Rivian. Before the Rivian IPO, Amazon invested $1.3 billion in the EV manufacturer across several private funding rounds. During the IPO, Amazon bought $200 million worth of Rivian shares, bringing its total stake in the company to about 20%.
On top of its investments, Amazon showed its support for Rivian by ordering 100,000 electric delivery vans from the electric truck maker. Rivian is paying Amazon’s substantial support back in kind by reportedly prioritizing the production of its delivery vans.