Amazon back at it again with yet another Echo device but this time, its not your living room that the tech giant is aiming to find a place in. It’s your car.
The company plans to make cars much smarter as a CES 2020 goal, with the integration of its voice assistant Alexa. Further, Amazon Echo Auto is going international, starting with an India launch on January 15. Cars without built-in Alexa such as those in India can get the smart assistant using the Echo Auto and a companion smartphone app.
As the name suggests, Echo Auto lets you control your car’s stereo system with commands to Alexa. The device features eight-microphones that allow Alexa to hear you over music, air conditioning, and maddening traffic outside.
The Echo Auto is powered by your car’s 12V charging socket or USB port. It connects to your car stereo system for audio playback using a 3.5 mm auxiliary cable or Bluetooth and uses Alexa through the Alexa app on your smartphone and relies on cellular data to stream music, make a call or send messages — essentially everything that you could possibly get done at home on your Echo smart speaker.
Confused? Let’s say it is a device that enables Android Auto like functionality in your car, just that everything here is taken care of using your voice and Alexa. Echo Auto is available for pre-order starting today for just INR 4,999 and will start shipping on launch day.
Apart from the launch of Echo Auto, the tech giant also announced partnerships with supercar maker Lamborghini and Michigan-based EV maker Rivian, with some of their upcoming models being rolled out with built-in support for Alexa.
Amazon highlighted that Alexa is already available in some models by Audi, BMW, Ford, and Toyota and will now also be integrated in Lamborghini’s Huracan Evo coming this year, and Rivian’s first all-electric vehicles — the R1S and R1T.