Building off of its success convincing the public to outfit their homes and offices with various Alexa-enabled Echo devices, Amazon introduced the very first 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 2022 Device and Services event.
The new unit will be slimmer than its predecessor and will include a mounting plate that adheres more securely than the last version — so make sure you really like where it's positioned before taking off the backing film. The unit still leverages five separate mics to pick up commands over road noise so you'll still have a good amount of flexibility in where you can place it. Once installed, it does what every Alexa does: respond to voice commands. It handles the standard fare of playing music — including a "follow me" function that allows you to switch audio from your home stereo to the vehicle as you get in — as well as navigation and hands-free calls.
“Ambient technology is at its best in environments where people are focused on other tasks, and nowhere is that more important than in the car,” Heather Zorn, Amazon’s vice president for Alexa said during the event. “Voice can minimize distractions and help you keep your eyes on the road so you can focus on the fun of driving.”
What's more, with help from Amazon's cloud the $55 Echo Auto will also be able to alert the driver when their pre-ordered Whole Foods grocery order is ready for pickup will also summon a tow truck if you run out of gas. Simply say, “Alexa, call Roadside Assistance.”