Apparently a lot of people want to put Alexa in their cars, as Amazon tells TechCrunch it received over a million preorders for the company’s recently announced Echo Auto. The credit card-sized device sits on your dashboard and brings Alexa capabilities to your car via a 3.5mm aux jack, or over a smartphone’s existing Bluetooth setup.
Amazon recently revealed it has sold more than 100 million devices with Alexa, so in the scope of things, 1 million might not seem like that much. But it is for an aftermarket car product. It’s also a significant number considering that’s just the number of Echo Autos Amazon let people buy. The product remains in preorder since it was announced earlier this year, and preordering is invite-only. That means, theoretically, there are a larger amount of people interested in this aftermarket Alexa solution for their car.
There are other third-party gadgets that put Alexa in your car. Anker’s $49.99 Viva adapter is coming sometime this year, and should let you do all things Alexa, from navigate map instructions with voice commands to control music or get weather information.
Alexa is also directly integrated with some infotainment systems — namely Toyota, BMW, Ford, and Audi — but that’s only a small chunk of the car market. And even some of those companies with formal Alexa integrations have delivered cumbersome executions without full Alexa capabilities.
This also isn’t Amazon’s first play to get into people’s cars. Last year, it started a new service with General Motors and Volvo giving couriers access to the trunk of your car for package deliveries. So sure, Amazon partnerships for cars exist, but this is the most explicit attempt by Amazon to takeover the inside of your car.