Toyota announced this week that Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant found in their line of Echo devices, is coming to Toyota and Lexus cars later this year.
This is great news for people who own compatible vehicles or want to buy one. I’ve been using an Echo Dot with Alexa in a car for six months, and it is clear that this is the future of car infotainment.
The idea to put an Echo Dot in a car came to me when Amazon put the Echo Dot on sale. My reaction was probably like a lot of others’: Should I buy another Echo, and if I do, where would I put it?
Then, with a little help from a funny moment involving my 6-year-old daughter, it hit me: Why not put an Echo Dot in my car? So I did, and it turned out to be the best $ 35 I have spent in a long time.
I’ll walk you through how I installed it (it’s easy), what I use it for (just about everything), and why it is the best car infotainment system I have ever used (it turned out to be better than I imagined):
This post was originally published in July and has been updated.
Our family already had three Echos — a regular one in the living room and Dots in the office and master bedroom — that we use for music, controlling various Hue lights and Nest thermostats, maintaining shopping and to-do lists, reordering Amazon items, and other general goofiness. In other words, we were already tight with “Alexa,” the Echo’s digital assistant.
So when Amazon dropped the price of the Echo Dot on Prime Day, it was tempting to order another. But where would we use it? (Sorry, kids, you’re not ready for an Alexa in your room.)
Then I recalled a funny moment in the car when our 6-year-old tried to ask the radio to play her favorite song. Nothing happened, and we laughed. But while staring at the $ 35 price tag on the Echo Dot, it hit me: Why couldn’t we put one in a car and use it as a media device where everybody would have easy access?