Amazon has released more Echo devices, including Echo Auto, offering Alexa's convenience on the road and offering drivers of many vehicles a different choice for voice-controlled features.
The aftermarket device, unveiled on Thursday, is designed with an array of eight microphones and hands-free speech recognition technology, allowing Alexa to hear the voice of the driver through traffic, air-conditioning or music.
The device works in vehicles with and without a Bluetooth connection. Even without a Bluetooth connection, consumers can jam to their favorite playlist with an auxiliary cable or by purchasing an additional accessory, such as an FM transmitter or a cassette adapter.
For connectivity and other functions, drivers must download the free Alexa app to their smartphones, which is available to providers with Fire OS 3.0 or higher, Android 5.0 or higher and iOS 9.0 or higher.
Amazon has been aggressive in switching to dashboards for cars. Last month, it released an Alexa Auto Software Development Kit to make it easier for programmers to build Alexa into auto-infotainment systems.
Automakers, including BMW, Ford Motor Co., the Seat brand of Volkswagen and Toyota Motor Corp. have started integrating Alexa into their vehicles. Developers, including Anker and Garmin, have built aftermarket devices that allow Alexa to be built into additional models. The kit – available on GitHub under the Apache license, version 2.0 – enables other car manufacturers and suppliers to do the same.
"We have made tremendous strides in the automotive space by working with car companies to develop skills or integrate Alexa directly into new car models or accessories," Amazon said in a statement. "We think that people who drive these cars also want to use Alexa and that's why we built Echo Auto."
Alexa St. John contributed to this report.