Echo Auto brings Alexa to cars


As Amazon noted at today’s event, the company has already been working with a number of car companies to bring Alexa to vehicles. There are already a number of high-profile partners, including Toyota, Ford, Lexus, BMW and Audi. Today, it announced its plan to bring the assistant to the rest of the “hundreds of millions” of auto models out there — Echo Auto.

The device is a small dongle that plugs into the car’s infotainment system, giving drivers the smart assistant and voice control for hands-free interactions. Users can interact with the product’s mic array in standard fashion and ask for things like traffic reports, add products to shopping lists and play music through Amazon’s entertainment system.

The product also integrates with Amazon’s routines, making the product an interesting part of the company’s growing smart home experience. That means it can turn lights and appliances on/off as you’re coming and going.

The Drop-In feature, already available on products like Fire tablets and the Echo Show, is here as well. Using it, you can speak directly with those on your contacts list with a simple voice command. 

Of course, the product also integrates with various mapping services, so you can get driving directions. It works with Waze by default, but Apple and Google Maps will also be available. The product will run $50, though early adopters can get their hands on it this year for testing, with an added bonus of a price discount down to $25.