Amazon’s new Echo Auto — a $50 credit card-sized box that sits on your dashboard and brings Alexa to your car — is a lot of things at once. It’s a relatively cheap way to smarten up a car that might not have a snazzy infotainment system. It’s a new beachhead for Amazon in the automotive world, which the company has focused increasing attention on over the years. It’s also another place for you to yell at Alexa to order more toilet paper.
What the Echo Auto really is, though, is a symptom of the messy state of in-car software.
Almost every major car company now allows Apple’s and Google’s own respective in-car infotainment systems to work alongside their own stock software; even major holdouts like Toyota have acquiesced.
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