"Alexa play my playlist“- what has been common in your own four walls for some time can now also be used in the car. Because Amazon has upgraded. Alexa, the voice assistant from Amazon, is now also available as the Amazon Echo Auto. This means that AI technology can also be used on the go. But is voice control worthwhile for the car? Which skills are the best for on the go? These and other questions are to be answered below.
- What can auto mode do?
- How is auto mode enabled for Alexa?
- How does the Echo work for the car?
- What can the echo do in the car?
- Which Alexa skills are the best for the car?
- Can the Echo read WhatsApp messages?
- Can you retrofit Alexa in the car?
- What are the advantages of the voice assistant in the car?
Alexa, the voice assistant from Amazon, has become an integral part of the smart home. And in the summer, as is well known, AI technology also found its way into cars. Alexa can support you on the journey as well as in your own four walls. As a cloud-based voice system, it is able to read maps, find particularly popular restaurants or even tell you where the cheapest fuel can be found at the moment. In addition, it offers functionality similar to that at home. She can play her own favorite music or answer different questions. Amazon has announced plans to improve the Alexa in-car experience. This should be possible with the help of a special car mode for the smartphone. A date for the release has not yet been announced, but is planned for the coming weeks.
Alexa car mode has a driver-friendly layout. That means both large graphics and large buttons on the smartphone display. This is a useful addition while driving, as the Alexa app itself is not suitable for use while driving. The car mode has four screens, whereby the menu remains firmly anchored to guarantee easy use.
- The home screen: Alexa functions that are used particularly frequently are shown here.
- Navigation: Here you can access personal favorite places and follow the current route.
- Communication: This page can either be used to make calls, or to access the Alexa devices in the house, for example using the drop-in function.
- Music: The current playback of various streaming services is displayed here. (Back to overview)
To activate the car mode, a smartphone with the Alexa app installed is required. The car mode can be activated within this app. The auto mode is currently "not yet" available. However, Amazon has given assurances that it will be ready in the next few weeks. In general, it should be noted here that not every smartphone is compatible. Amazon offers a way to check this compatibility on its website. (Back to overview)
In order to be able to use the functionality of Alexa in the car, a corresponding device is required. For example the Amazon Echo Auto or accessories with Alexa. This device is connected to the car, either via Bluetooth or a 3,5 millimeter jack plug. As soon as the device is ready, the known activation word "Alexa“The individual skills can be accessed. The activation word can also be changed via the Alexa app, for example to Echo etc. (Back to overview)
The Amazon Echo Auto offers the same functionality that is also offered by the Amazon devices in the smart home.
- Play music; the skills of the respective provider must be activated
- Call up traffic, weather or news
- Access to Amazon Shopping (if activated in the app)
- Create and retrieve reminders
- Answering questions (Back to overview)
Various skills are available for using Alexa in the car, which can be opened by voice command. The voice command is usually “Alexa, open [skill name].” However, the skills must be activated before they can be used.
- Clever refueling: This enables the current prices in the region to be compared, depending on the respective fuel.
- PayByPhone: With this skill, a parking ticket can be obtained by voice control.
- Traffic report: Provides information about the current traffic situation.
- Registration in Germany: This skill knows which location is on the license plate.
- Further: A number of skills are available for Alexa. The activated skills can be supplemented appropriately via the Amazon website. (Back to overview)
Alexa can currently neither read nor send WhatsApp messages. If a message needs to be read out while driving, the Google Assistant or Siri can take over this task. (Back to overview)
There are different ways to get Alexa into the car.
- Echo Auto: The Echo Auto is the easiest option. It is set up via the app. Power is supplied via the 12 volt plug. Then the device is connected either via Bluetooth or with the audio plug.
- Echo Dot: If the car has WiFi, the Echo Dot loudspeaker can also be connected. Alternatively, a mobile adapter or a mobile hotspot via smartphone can be used. The Echo Dot is coupled to the multimedia system after the installation process. A hands-free or navigation function is not available in this case.
- Alexa plug: The plug is for the cigarette lighter and is connected to the car via Bluetooth. With this variant, navigation and hands-free function usually also work. The Roav Viva model from Anker is suitable for this purpose.
- Car accessories: It is also possible to retrofit car accessories in which Alexa is already integrated. For example, a car radio that already has integrated voice control. Navis are now also equipped with Alexa voice control (Garmin Drive Smart 65) and some Dashcams (Nextbase GW 422). The advantage here is that the car accessories can be controlled directly by voice command, due to the integrated Alexa functionality. (Back to overview)
Instead of pushing buttons, swiping across monitors or searching for addresses by hand, you can keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road. This is the greatest benefit that the Amazon Echo Auto offers the driver. As studies show, drivers are extremely distracted when they use multimedia devices or write messages. This distraction ensures that the attention is no longer on the road and thus accidents are more likely. Voice control, on the other hand, allows hands-free operation. In other words, a form of operation that does not require active typing on the screen. The voice assistant thus increases safety in the car. But not only does safety increase, comfort also increases. Because the Amazon Echo Auto can be used to play your own favorite songs, make appointments or make purchases. And all of this while driving and without distraction. (Back to overview)
Of course that had not happened yet!
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