Alexa in the Passenger Seat
A few times this week as I was driving to and fro a question would spring to mind. The type of question that if I were at home I would have asked Alexa. So out of curiosity, this week I explored some potential ways to get Alexa into my car.
The need: As I drive, my mind tends to wander or think about the happenings of the day: work, news, personal, etc.. I would like to investigate these curiosities or at least jot them down via Amazon’s Alexa. On top of this, I don’t want to spend more than $50 to make it happen.
On a side note: I actually spoke the first draft of this post while driving via voice-to-text on my on my iPhone. To start the voice-to-text, at a stop light I had to open the Google Docs app and initiate the microphone. Not what I want to do going forward.
The research: A quick Google search reveals I am not the only one thinking about this.
First, I explored adding an Echo dot to my car via a hotspot. The cost for the extra dot ($49) was within my range but adding a hotspot to the cell bill ($10/month) eliminated this option. Not to mention this option would look janky.
Next, I found an article showcasing all of the auto manufacturers that will feature Alexa in their new models. A new car is definitely going to cost more that $50 so that option is out. That said, if autonomous vehicles keep progressing, this feature may not be needed if I don’t have to keep my eyes on the road.
Then, I found a few options from Garmin. A separate device added to your dashboard it featured the Garmin GPS, Amazon Alexa served up through your phone and connects to your car Bluetooth. This is exactly what I was looking for but sadly the $150 price tag makes it a non-starter.
As a last ditch effort I turned to the Amazon app and searched “Alexa in car”... and “Voilà!” I found the Roav Viva from Anker, priced at… $49. The Roav Viva plugs into your car’s DC plug and connects via Bluetooth to your phone and audio system. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
So not an hour before starting this post, I purchased the Roav Viva on Amazon. So the next time you see me driving, seemingly talking to myself I may not be crazy. I’m just talking to Alexa.