Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the "Echo Auto,' which allows users to use Alexa in their car, during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington
Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the "Echo Auto,' which allows users to use Alexa in their car, during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington

Echo Auto: Amazon releases Alexa voice assistant for your car

Small unit plugs into car's power outlet and borrows phone's internet

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin
Wednesday 17 June 2020 12:27
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Amazon has released its first Echo device for use outside of the house, allowing users to take Alexa in their car.

The company revealed the device in 2018 but it has finally come to customers in the UK and Ireland.

Echo Auto plugs into a car's 12V power outlet or built-in USB port and connects to the in-car stereo via either audio jack cable or Bluetooth to enable the use of voice assistant Alexa inside the vehicle.

Users are then able to use Alexa voice commands to control music, check the news, make phone calls or check their schedule without taking hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

The device gets internet connectivity by connecting to a user's smartphone and the Alexa app and using its existing data plan.

It is Amazon's latest attempt to bring access to its virtual assistant to a wider space, having already created an established line of smart home hubs and speakers and signed up a number of third party appliances to support the voice assistant inside the home.

According to the technology giant, the device has an eight-microphone set-up designed to enable it to pick up voice commands, despite what it calls challenging in-car acoustics, and will be able to hear commands over music, air conditioning and ambient road noise.

Amazon confirmed Echo Auto would go on sale for £49.99.

"Customers tell us they want to take Alexa with them everywhere they go. We're delighted to offer them an easy way to add Alexa to the car they already own," Amazon devices EU vice president, Eric Saarnio said.

"With Echo Auto, customers can now enjoy the convenience of Alexa on the road, giving them the ability to play music, make calls, continue their audiobook, play games, manage their reminders and more-all just by using their voice."

Additional reporting by agencies

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