► Get Alexa in older cars
► Uses your phone’s data
► Out now via invitation
Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant is everywhere these days. If you’ve bought an echo Dot, it’s in your home – but it’s increasingly baked into modern cars, too. Seat’s already integrated Alexa into its new infotainment systems, it’s compatible with Ford’s Sync 3 system – and the helpful assistant will also be in the all-new Audi e-Tron electric SUV.
But how do you get Amazon’s shiny new Alexa in your trust old banger? With Amazon Echo Auto.
Alexa for your car
Announced yesterday in a press conference that also saw the unveil of a new Alexa-powered microwave – yes, really – Amazon Echo Auto is designed to bring Amazon Alexa into older vehicles.
What is Apple CarPlay?
Featuring an eight-mic array designed to optimise sound output for your car, Echo Auto will make sure you hear Alexa over your music, air conditioning and general road noise. Amazon says it’ll run off a standard USB port connection or 12v cigarette lighter (see, they really are thinking of old cars), and the dongle will connect via Bluetooth or 3.5mm port. Positively ancient, right?
After that, the Echo Auto sits your dash like those old SFX machines people used to have, and it’ll give you access to all the usual Alexa services using the data and Alexa app from your smartphone. That means you’ll be able to use voice control to select music, get nav routes and call people, too. Alongside the basic functions, Amzon Echo Auto will also provide access to news, to-do-lists or your calendar.
When’s the Amazon Echo Auto out?
The Amazon Echo Auto is out now and available via invitation, so we’ll try to get our hands on one as soon as we can. There's no word on a general release date yet, but it’s currently half price at just $25.00.