While we might still be a ways away from truly smart cars — at least, ones available to those on a budget — there is a gizmo out there that can make our vehicles just a tad more intelligent right now. It's the Echo Auto, and Amazon's just marked it down the beloved device by a ridiculous 70%, making it just $15 — its lowest-ever price. The Auto is a small rectangular box that brings the ease of Alexa (and her many skills) to your vehicle. Simply plug it into your car's USB port, clip it on an air vent, and connect via Bluetooth or an auxiliary cord. That's it! It has eight microphones that are designed to tune out road noise, so it'll hear you when you ask it to commence your road trip playlist, check on the weather or traffic, even tell you a joke.
It's not just the same Alexa you can access from your home's Echo devices, either: This one comes with a dedicated auto mode, which turns your phone into a driver-friendly display with quick and easy shortcuts to your contacts and favorite places. Plus, like your home device, it can play an audiobook, an episode of your favorite podcast, and of course, the radio.
Worried about privacy? Don't be: The Echo Auto comes with a button to turn off your microphone, so you can have peace of mind on the road (and not accidentally call your kids in the middle of cursing a blue streak at the jerk who just cut you off).
So, sure, you ought to snag one for yourself, but it also makes an excellent stocking stuffer, for the loved ones in your life who drive older cars or are frequent roadtrippers. Right now it's just $15, and with nearly 82,000 five-star reviews, it has quite the fan base, too.
Shared one longtime Alexa user: "This was super easy to setup...having Alexa in the car rocks. Forget the radio stations. Now I listen to what I want, ask questions, get directions. Changed my life, again!"
Drive to work? The Echo Auto can brief you on your calendar for the day, as well as read you your messages and emails — all without your touching a single button.
"Having my emails read to me while driving in stop-and-go traffic felt like a minor miracle (also without taking my phone out of my pocket)," shared one fan. "I already can't imagine my life without it!"
If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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