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Utah.Gov Launches First State Government Amazon Echo Skill

The Department of Public Safety and the Division of Technology Services announced the introduction of a new Amazon Echo practice exam for the driver’s license. The added convenience of the voice activated practice exam allows new drivers to review the rules of the road in the comfort of their homes through Amazon’s voice controlled speaker and digital assistant, Alexa. The Amazon Echo was Amazon’s best selling item over $100 on Black Friday in 2015, and accounts for 25% of online speaker sales.

“We’re excited to provide new drivers with added functionality and convenience through Amazon Echo,” said Marissa Villaseñor, Director of Public Relations, Utah Department of Public Safety. “The Echo is an amazing new tool, and we are looking forward to expanding the services we integrate with Echo.”

Alexa, the digital assistant behind Amazon Echo, will help new drivers study for the driver exam by reviewing practice questions. For example, Alexa might ask, “When approached by an emergency vehicle, the driver must immediately…” and the correct response would be, “Pull to the right and stop.” Test takers respond by voice directly to Alexa. Scores are not saved or recorded for practice tests.

“Digital assistants present an incredible opportunity for simplifying business with state government,” said Mike Hussey, Utah State Chief Information Officer. “We are always looking for new ways to integrate innovative digital solutions and move beyond how we currently help Utahns interact with government.”

In addition, Utah.Gov also added a Utah State Facts skill for the Echo. Alexa will share interesting facts about the beehive state. Utahns can load the skill to the Alexa App on a mobile device.