Would it be better if you could talk to your car?

Tech Tools: Alexa Auto is a relatively cheap add-on

Alexa Auto


Have you ever looked at your car and thought: this would be better if I could talk to it? If you've bought a new car in the past couple of years, there's a chance that your vehicle has some sort of smart digital assistant capability, whether it's Siri through Apple Car Play, Google Assistant through Android Auto, or Amazon's Alexa, which a number of manufacturers have started to integrate.

If you don't fancy a new car though, there's a relatively cheap add-on: Alexa Auto. The device, which costs £50 (€55) from Amazon, was launched in the US in 2018; now it's coming to Ireland and Britain. You can ask Alexa to play music, check the news, make calls or manage your calendar, control smart home devices and add to shopping lists from the car. It's designed to work well in the noisy car environment – radio, air conditioning, road noise, for example – and it connects via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm jack to your car speakers. It still needs your smartphone though. Oh, and a data plan.