thoughts / Adding Alexa to your car

Recent legal changes to phone use for drivers will result in all cars having voice based interfaces.

The Highway Code, road safety, and vehicle rule state that it is illegal to use your phone while driving a car or riding a motorcycle unless you have hands-free access, such as a Bluetooth headset, voice command or dashboard mount. It also states that when using hands-free you must stay in control of the vehicle at all times, the police can stop you if they think you are distracted and not in control.

The UK law still applies in the following situations, stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic and supervising a learner driver.

How can I get Alexa in my car?

There are already a few options available to you. You can:

Either buy a 2018 BMW or you could look at the SEAT Ateca or Leon which was being released at the end of 2017. To use it in the SEAT it does need to be coupled with an Android device.

For those of you not in the market for buying a new car currently, you could buy a Garmin Speak, Garmin and Alexa have teamed up. By using your smartphone with Garmin Speak, using data from your smartphone and connect via Bluetooth or AUX, you enable Amazon Alexa to stream audio through.

The final option you have is to set up your Amazon Dot in your car one thing that SEAT did was experimented during R&D by looking at installing the Echo into their vehicles. What they learnt was that it wouldn't meet the demands of vibrations and temperature.

What car based skills can I use?

Some of the tasks you already do on your smartphone. Below is a list of what you could do if you had Alexa in your car.

  • Collate lists, of ideas for the next projects, to do’s and planning. Even your shopping list for the weekly food shop
  • Provide relevant people with status updates, are you on time for that meeting/confirm you can attend that meeting or social gathering with friends
  • Report issues. This can be done for both personal and work tasks such as accidents on the road, potholes, problems caused by poor weather conditions or compiling a report for a site visit you have just completed, complete a vehicle audit before taking a pool vehicle out
  • Keep the family amused playing games while in the car instead of each being head down in their own computer game, movie or device
  • Get a news briefing when you want it
  • Book the meeting room you need for next week’s client meeting
  • Check parking space availability
  • Leave messages
  • Hear messages left for you
  • Turn the lighting on for you arriving home