Las Vegas, Nevada - Ford has unveiled an alliance with Amazon aimed at allowing people to connect their cars into “smart home” networks.

The partnership, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is intended to bring together connected vehicles with Amazon's Echo smart home hub.

The tie-up will enable drivers to communicate with the hub and, for example, ask if their garage door is open, or request an appointment with their mechanic.

It also will allow drivers to control lights, thermostats, security systems and other home devices from their car.

Working from the voice-activated Echo hub, people will also be able to stop, start, lock, unlock and check their vehicle's fuel range from home.

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Ford chief executive Mark Fields said the collaboration was a result of the company’s research efforts on “ways to link our smart cars to smart homes”.

Echo is a smart personal assistant - a rival of sorts to Apple's Siri and Google Now. Echo's Alexa can respond to questions and connect to other home devices.

Ford's connected car technology hub, known as Sync, will be integrated with Echo later in 2016. Ford says some 15 million cars on the road use Sync and it expects the figure to grow to 43 million by 2020.

Ford head of connected services Don Butler said: “People increasingly want to stay connected to their homes while on the move.

“Linking smart devices such as Amazon Echo and home platform Wink to vehicles via Sync would allow that, as well as letting them connect with their cars when when they aren't behind the wheel.”

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