Want Alexa in the Car? Amazon Has You Covered (Eventually)
If you have looked at BMW, MINI, and Lincoln models with envy as each company announces they are integrating Amazon’s Alexa into their infotainment systems, then Amazon has some great news for you. At a hardware event last week, Amazon unveiled the Echo Auto, a small car dongle that will put Alexa in your car.
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Basically how it works is the Echo Auto connects to your car’s audio system through Bluetooth or auxiliary port and plugs into a 12V outlet. From there, it gives you the many powers of Amazon’s Alexa, letting you ask for directions from certain apps, play music from streaming services, and mess with your smart-home accessories. You can also make calls, set reminders, add items to shopping lists, and use Alexa skills while on the go.
However, there is a catch. You can’t get the Echo Auto yet. It has no release date, and no way to pre-order — the best you can do is request an invitation to pre-order the device. When you request an invitation, Amazon informs you that it will be sending the out by email later this year.
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Presumably, eventually this will be available for purchase, at which point it isn’t very expensive. Amazon currently lists the Echo Auto with a list price of about $50, but on sale for about $25. When it is actually available for purchase, this would presumably be a good way to add more connected features to your vehicle without shelling out for a brand new one.
Meanwhile, if you don’t want to wait, Business Insider recommends trying the Roav Viva or installing an Echo Dot in your car. Both are Alexa-enabled, but have their own drawbacks.