In a technology-driven world, every car comes with a smart display. Infotainment has become a necessary component of people’s lives. In such a period, if your car lacks the necessary functionality to match up with the needs of a smart world, life seems restrictive. Many of us are stuck with a conventional vehicle, which cannot be paired with our smart devices and in turn the extended features. We are here with just the solution.
Can I add voice capabilities to my old car inexpensively?
Absolutely! In past years, adding voice controls to older model vehicles required expensive equipment – often exchanging factory-installed radios with aftermarket alternatives. Now, you can easily add inexpensive in car voice assistants that often perform better, and are far more capable with the addition of Alexa and Google Assistant capabilities.
Devices that can transform a normal car into a smart vehicle
If you are looking to power your car with a voice assistant, Echo auto is the first device that comes to mind.
It is accompanied by a plug that goes into the 12-volt adapter in the car. Amazon has smartly included two USB ports to the plug for the Echo auto if you wish to plug another device in at the same time.
The Echo Auto works with cars that have a Bluetooth accessory input, or a 3.5mm auxiliary jack. Many cars built in the past 10-15 years have this feature.
The Echo Auto is very small and lightweight, and the setup is simple.
There are two buttons on the device – mute, and trigger. These work in the same way as the buttons on other Alexa devices. There is an array of 8 microphones on the top surface of the device which helps in the noisy car environment. On one side is an auxiliary port, which can be used if your car lacks Bluetooth, and Amazon even includes the cable in the box if you need it. There is also a USB port for charging the device.
The echo auto comes with an air vent mount that is flexible enough for most applications.
Echo Auto connects with Amazon’s Alexa through your smartphone’s Alexa app and speaks through your car’s speakers through Bluetooth or the auxiliary cable.
Where a conventional car only gets you a radio entertainment, Echo Auto through Alexa goes beyond it. You can stream music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, and even radio stations. You can also make calls, check news updates and start navigation on your phone. If you have set up home automation features through Alexa, you can even control those features through Echo Auto, allowing you to turn on your porch lights or other home automation tasks before you arrive home.
Roav Viva Pro by Anker, Alexa-Enabled 2-Port USB Car Charger
The Roav Viva Pro by Anker is another way to get Alexa capabilities in your car. It can connect via Bluetooth, Carplay, Android Auto, AUX-Out, or FM transmission. The Dual mics and advanced noise cancellation system makes sure your commands do not get overpowered by traffic noise or the sound of music. The microphones are made with silicon-MEMS nanotechnology to attain maximum sensitivity with minimum size. It is equipped with high speed charging ports that enable it to present optimum charge to any mobile device.
The Roav Viva Pro by Anker has two USB ports that combined are capable of providing 2.4 amperage charging at once. The device can be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter receptacle. Once plugged in, the Roav Viva lights up and is now ready to be paired to your phone. Before installation, Make sure you have the Roav Viva app downloaded on your smartphone. The app provides a medium to install the device and set up a connection between the car and Roav Viva.
Anker Roav SmartCharge F0 Bluetooth FM Transmitter for Car
The idea is basically the same as Viva Roav but can work in a wider variety of cars without an auxiliary input using the FM transmitter. This device does not have Alexa or Google Assistant built-in, so you will need to use this with the voice assistant native to your smartphone, making this a good option for Android devices with Google Assistant. To set up the device you just have to plug it into the cigarette lighter receptacle and connect to the phone via Bluetooth. It transmits over radio and is also supplied with an auxiliary port. The device is connected to your car through a smartphone app. The app allows you to modulate the frequency, check battery voltage and also check where your car is parked.
To tune the device for high sound clarity, you just have to tune in to an unused radio frequency. In the case of Anker Roav SmartCharge F0, strong Bluetooth and FM ensures stable transmission. The echo cancellation feature ensures clarity of voice calls. It allows you to stream music from your phone. Dual USB ports enable high-speed charging of any device, thanks to Power IQ. The device comes with two buttons to navigate playlist and frequencies and one call button to help the user attend calls from the phone. There is also a digital display at the center which shows FM frequency. The best part is the device is very inexpensive.
If you are thinking of calling, starting navigation, or playing streaming music without having to move your eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel, these devices will get you there.
What is the future of voice assistants in cars?
Cars are a big market for voice assistants. IBM was the first company in the world to launch a voice assistant in Honda cars. Amazon’s Alexa comes a decade later. While on the road, consumers are more likely to use a voice assistant than a smart infotainment screen for obvious reasons of road safety.
The fight for the dashboard market had revved up in the last few years. Google’s proprietary infotainment device Android Auto, for instance, has packed all the features of a smartphone and placed it on the dashboard. Google Assistant and Alexa have made their way in more recently released car devices.
Hey, I have a business idea and a fleet of vehicles…
Give us a call at 877-VOGO-444 (877-864-6444) or click the “Request a Demo” button below. We have experience in leveraging in-car voice assistants to help businesses become more efficient and customer-savvy – without heavy investments in new equipment. Drivers can keep dispatch operations up to date on road and traffic conditions in real-time, update deliveries, and can report damages and shortages in delivered products hands-free. Driver reports can be captured and integrated into a wide variety of information systems. The VOGO voice platform offers a fast, affordable, and flexible way to get your business up and running with the power of voice.