What Is Amazon's Echo Auto?

Take Alexa for a drive

Phone while in a car

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If you find Amazon Echo and Alexa devices useful at home, you may find them helpful in your vehicle as well. The Amazon Echo Auto is a smart device that provides access to the Alexa voice assistant in your car. For less than $50, it brings modern functionality, like navigation and hands-free music selection, to an older auto.

While the Echo Auto adds significant functionality to older cars, some of its features may be redundant in newer autos that come equipped with similar technology.

What Can Echo Auto Do?

Echo Auto performs the following tasks:

  • Play or initiate music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, Audible audiobooks, podcasts, or NPR news.
  • Make phone calls.
  • Add or check reminders.
  • Add items to shopping lists.
  • Manage calendar appointments.
  • Get directions with Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze.
  • Find location-based destinations such as gas stations.
  • Trigger location-based routines and tasks based on places like your home or workplace.
Echo Auto
Amazon

How Does Echo Auto Work?

Echo Auto comes with a mount and Micro USB cable, making it simple to set up on the dashboard and plug into the car's power source. Echo Auto is portable and can be moved between multiple vehicles.

To hear Alexa from the car speakers, connect it using either Bluetooth or the cable. If your vehicle lacks both Bluetooth and an auxiliary port, you may be able to connect Echo Auto to the speakers using a cassette adapter or FM transmitter.

The device's online connectivity and data come from your smartphone, so make sure it's capable of running the Alexa app.

Echo Auto includes eight microphones that listen for the Alexa wake word. The microphone array picks up voice commands over car-related sounds like music, air conditioning, conversations, and outside noise.

Family on road trip
Amazon

Tap Into Alexa Skills From Your Car 

Beyond the native Echo Auto features, the Alexa ecosystem features over 50,000 skills from third-party developers that can be used inside the car. For example, ask Alexa to tell a story, play a game, or open the garage door, among many more things. As with your home Echo device, you can browse these skills within the Alexa app on your phone.

Echo Auto with app bubbles displayed off to side
Amazon