Amazon’s redesigned Echo Auto will better integrate with your vehicle

Building on its success in convincing the public to equip their homes and offices with various Alexa-enabled Echo devices, Amazon introduced the first-ever Echo Auto in 2018. More than a million pre-orders and four years later, the Echo Auto is getting an upgrade, Amazon announced Wednesday at its Device and Services 2022 event.

The new device will be slimmer than its predecessor and include a mounting plate that sticks more securely than the last version – so make sure you really like the position before removing the protective film. The device still uses five separate microphones to pick up commands over road noise, so you still have good placement flexibility. Once installed, it does what every Alexa does: respond to voice commands. It handles the default tunes for playing music – including a “follow me” feature that lets you switch audio from your home stereo to the car when you get in – as well as navigation and hands-free calls.

“Ambient technology is best in environments where people are focused on other tasks, and nowhere is that more important than in the car,” said Heather Zorn, Amazon’s vice president for Alexa, during the event. “Speech can minimize distractions and help keep your eyes on the road so you can focus on the fun of driving.”

Additionally, using Amazon’s cloud, the $55 Echo Auto can notify the driver when their pre-ordered Whole Foods grocery order is ready for pickup and summon a tow truck if you’re running out of gas. Just say “Alexa, call roadside assistance.”

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