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Image credit: HARMAN

JBL's Link Drive makes your dumb old car smart

Just plug it into your cigarette lighter.
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Incorporating digital assistants into modern vehicles has proven transformative for drivers, but only the folks who can afford to pony up for a new(ish) car that has them built in. For those of us still driving older models, those features aren't readily available unless we pull out our phones while driving -- not good. But with the new Link Drive from JBL, any vehicle with a cigarette lighter can offer Google Assistant's help to its passengers.

After plugging in the device and pairing it with either an Apple or Android smartphone, activating it is as simple as saying "hey Google." You'll also need to pair it with your stereo, though it can also be connected through the system's aux port.

The Link Drive's dual noise cancelling mics ignore road and wind noise, enabling the driver to ask for driving directions as well as weather, traffic, and calendar updates. The system will automatically turn down the radio when activated -- or if you receive an incoming call -- so that you're not forced to shout over it, take your hands off the wheel, or even unlock your phone.

The Link Drive should hit store shelves later this spring and retail for $60.

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