Amazon has announced the Echo Auto as their first device to add Alexa to your car. It’s a relatively tiny device that sits on your dash and provides hands-free Alexa capabilities through its array of 8 microphones. Amazon is adding in a lot of new car-specific capabilities to Alexa, like navigation directions that appear on your phone through Waze and Apple Maps integration, so they’re not quite ready to sell the Echo Auto to everyone. That’s why it’s currently only available by invite. It will be $49.99 when it’s released, but those who receive an invite to purchase will pay only $24.99 during the introductory period.
The Echo Auto uses your smartphone’s data connection to relay voice commands to Alexa. Amazon says it is “ready in seconds” but it will need to pair with your phone every time you get in the car for it to work.
The device comes with a dash mount so that it can be positioned in your car where you can see the LED light on the front and where it can hear your commands. It’s powered by an included 12V car power adapter that connects to the device via micro-USB. You’ll probably also be able to power it through a USB port that is built into your car, assuming the port provides enough juice.
The Echo Auto connects to your cars stereo through Bluetooth or through a 3.5mm audio jack. It does not have its own speaker, like an Echo Dot, but it does have a mute and action button to manually call up Alexa.
The device will use your phones GPS signal to determine your location and provide answers to location-based questions, like asking when the nearest coffee shop opens. It is also able to relay navigation requests to apps such as Waze and Apple Maps on your phone.
Bringing Alexa inside your car is new territory for Amazon, so they’re only making the Echo Auto available by invitation for the time being. Those willing to try the new device will receive a steep 50% discount off of the device’s regular $49.99 retail price and pay only $24.99. If you’re interested, you can sign up to receive an invitation.
Any indications regarding whether or not you first have to open the Alexa app when you get in your car and leave it running while this accesses your cellphone and cellular connection? I would love it if it would just auto-connect without any user interaction.
They should have added HomeLink to it as well.
the form factor is really a bizarre choice for this device
it looks awkward AF to mount, i mean just look at the pic in this article
it is like they put ZERO effort into designing this thing
i much prefer the roav viva design and it has 2 USB ports that i think support fast charging (at least one does i think anyways)
does the roav viva support all alexa features? the same as this does?
the price is right for sure but if the roav viva drops below $40
then i will go with that if it supports all the same features
this is just too awkward to mount and it has no USB charger built in
I have a Roav Viva (I got it on Prime Day for, I think, $35). As far as I can tell the Viva supports everything a normal echo supports except for Spotify (listed as “coming soon”) and Alexa Calling/Messaging which since that is no longer an Echo-only feature (the Eufy Genie has Alexa Calling/Messaging) they should be able to add that too.
And if you need an FM transmitter (car without an aux port or Bluetooth), the ROAV Viva Pro would be an all-in-one solution and add some charging ports.
Don’t believe the ROAVs support Drop-in and they don’t support all the music services that work with Alexa. Could see those being deciding factors for a lot of people.
oh yeah will this device be able to send information to the radio display?
like track ,album song etc.?
because my phone has GA built i and i can see the song and track data on the radio display so will this do that as well? what about the roav viva?
I don’t know about the Echo Auto, but the Roav Viva does display the track/album/song info on the vehicle’s radio display IF you have the Roav Viva app open in the background. You don’t have to open the Roav Viva app to use the Alexa features, but you do have to have the app open if you want the song info on your vehicle radio (and on your phone lock screen), and you also need it open if you want to be able to ask Alexa for directions (which will then open your navigation app of choice with the destination pre-populated). You can also enable a setting in the app so that the app opens automatically every time your phone connects to the Viva. This is at least the way it works with iOS, it may be slightly different with Android.
I am excited about this product because of its potential. Whether Amazon is able to deliver is another thing. This item looks more a beta product and the invite is to judge the demand for production. I would think that at least a 3 months before actually delivery.
Why would you need this when you can just use the Amazon Music app on your phone to control Alexa in your car?
Am I the only one that is completely in awe with how many similarities this device has with a “remote bluetooth mic and button”?
All of its capabilities are built in… to Apps…
Uses the internet on your smartphone…’s Apps?
Consider this, maybe, for a second? I REALLY hope I’m waaaay off on this one.
Connects to your car radio via bluetooth, or AUX input… ???
Aux input and requires internet (conveniently from your smartphone)???!!!
Why ?? Use your cell phone and download alexa