As expected, Amazon has announced the 2nd-gen Echo Auto to add Alexa capabilities to any car in a sleek new package. The new device is more minimalistic than the old Echo Auto and looks more like a pendant you hang from the side of your dashboard as opposed to a box that lays on top of your dashboard.
The new Echo Auto has five microphones that should be able to hear you over common car noises like your A/C blowing or music playing. Amazon has also introduced new roadside assistance services which will allow you to use Alexa to get help with roadside issues such as flat tires and running out of gas. The service charges you for the specific services you request, so there is no subscription fee.
The construciton of the Echo Auto consists of the top microphone portion that also has a small light bar, action button, and microphone mute button. That is connected to the base portion, which consists of a speaker and audio-out port, through a long cable. The Audio out port lets you connect to your car stereo through a wired connection instead of relying on Bluetooth, which is also an option. Otherwise, you’ll be listing to Alexa’s responses through the tiny speaker built into the base.
The new Echo Auto will cost $54.99 when its released but it is not yet available to order and a release date has not been set.
Curious about this as I still use my original beta Echo Auto and like it. I got in so early that I have the sticky pad and it works quite well. Will be interesting to see if it’s improved or just repackaged.
Is the Echo Auto just a fancy microphone for your phone? Doesn’t the Alexa app do the exact same thing when you open it up in Auto mode? The only advantage I can see from this is this advance microphone array, and not having to have the Alexa app for functionality. I’m pretty sure the Alexa app was updated for this functionality after the original Echo Auto came out (which I still use).
I bought the original Echo Auto and after a day returned it to Amazon.
This was due to its reliance on a Bluetooth connection to the phone and the Alexa app versus using the Wi-Fi hotspot in my vehicles.
Hopefully this second gen unit supports Wi-Fi connections and not just Bluetooth connections.
I bought a bunch of Echo Inputs, while waiting over a year to get my Echo Auto. I have one in each of my vehicles now connected to either the mobile hotspot in the vehicle or to a mobile hotspot on a phone.
This solution was so much easier to implement, since all I needed to do was put the same SSID on all the hot spots in the vehicles, and on each driver’s mobile phone.
It almost makes you wonder if Amazon killed off the lower cost Echo Input in the US because people were using it in place of the higher cost Echo Auto.
I still use my pre-release echo auto. Other than the new form-factor, is there anything new? I don’t see why gen1 can’t support road-side assistance as that should be handled by the app on the phone… not that I would use it since I have that service through my car insurance.
Any comparisons of the bluetooth level and supported codecs compared to the original? My gen1 version is somewhat incompatible with my android 13 phone as the bluetooth audio connection will get distorted after a few minutes of idleness. My solution is a tasker script that sends an inaudible tone to the the echo every few minutes to keep it busy. I would hope the new version will not need such tricks.