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The race to own the media experience in self-driving cars

Illustration of a car on multiple tv screens
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of the big themes at CES this year has been the race to own the media experience when cars go driverless.

Why it matters: The complications around who will own the data, how connectivity will work and what "driverless" actually means haven't stopped companies from making big announcements this year.

Driving the news: Amazon announced a slew of deals to get its Fire TV software built into more televisions, soundbars and even the back seats of cars, Axios' Ina Fried reports. BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automotive will be among the first to offer such systems, Amazon said.

  • ViacomCBS, Accuweather, and others announced a partnership with Byton, an electric vehicle startup, to provide content and services for the massive 48-inch screen in its upcoming M-Byte plug-in SUV, Axios' Joann Muller reports.
  • Sony, the entertainment company, debuted an electric vehicle called "Vision S," which, like Byton, features a huge panoramic dashboard screen. The car was showcased to show off Sony's car tech, including entertainment tech.
  • Audi showed a concept car, the AI:ME, that bills itself as an "attentive companion," per Joann. The car familiarizes itself with its users and their habits and tailors its comfort and infotainment systems to suit their preferences.

Voice controls in cars were also on full display. Lamborghini said it's adding Amazon's Alexa voice assistant to its Huracán EVO this year. Amazon and Exxon announced a deal to allow voice-enabled gas purchases.

Go deeper: The product announcements to watch for at CES 2020