However, Amazon’s giving them out on a rolling basis, and the product page doesn’t provide estimates for how long someone might have to wait after asking for an invitation. That could cause hassles for people who want to buy the Echo Auto as a gift.
Also, the invitation price is $24.99, but when the product is available on a broader scale, it’ll cost $49.99. Some people who have weighed in about the item mentioned they’d like to buy it for the lower price, but would want to see what the reviews say before purchasing it for the regular retail price.
Could It Be Too Distracting?
Among the selling points of the Echo Auto is that it can perform 50,000 skills and counting. That could prevent people from getting bored on long trips, but it also raises a question about whether someone needs a gadget that can do so many things while they’re driving.
A recent study from the University of Utah for AAA determined Apple and Android’s car-based systems are generally less distracting than a vehicle’s built-in infotainment system because they perform tasks more quickly than the integrated setups.
The idea is that the faster the technology does its job, the sooner a driver can return their full attention to the road. Since Alexa should be able to tackle tasks in seconds, that’s a plus. However, people should still ensure they don’t get so focused on what the smart speaker does that they don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them.
Perhaps Not Ideal for People With Restricted Data Plans
The Echo Auto connects to the Internet via a smartphone’s data plan. There are no statistics yet about how much data a typical person uses during a one-hour drive, for example. But, people who don’t have unlimited data plans should consider setting up usage warnings on their phones to avoid overage fees.
Aiming to Bring Convenience to Cars
Amazon wants to make driving more manageable for its customers. The reasonable price should encourage people who are open to adding the Echo Auto to their vehicles.