Amazon Echo Auto after one year

One year ago I ordered an Amazon Echo Auto and installed it in my car (Tesla model 3). Although Tesla also has a voice assistant, it is limited to the car and does not allow for something like Alexa Skills.

I have created several skills that are only for personal use that are aimed at usage from the car. A couple of fun examples:
– “Alexa, ask Newfun what we will eat today?”
– “Alexa, ask Newfun who is at home?”
– “Alexa, ask Newfun is there a new vlog from Jon Olssen?”
– “Alexa, ask Traffic Netherlands if there is a traffic jam on the A2”

Amazon echo car smiles

For these purposes the Echo Auto works great. I also use it almost every day to start my audible books, or my podcasts. Several functions of Echo Auto are currently useless for me because my geographic location is not supported (Netherlands) and thus things that are location and point of interest based do not work. So things like: “where is the nearest Burger King?”, “Tesla charging point”, etc. are not working.

Interestingly I also use the Echo Auto to make adjustments to the Tesla: “Alexa, ask Elon to set the HVAC at 20 degrees” works better then the Tesla voice assistant. Where it fails miserably is communications. So sending and receiving text messages, Whatsapp message, making calls, answering calls. All of these things do not work. This has to do with the integration of my address book, but also simply because Dutch first and last names are still a complete mystery for Alexa (and the rest of the world). The only form of communication I can use is “Alexa, drop in on the living room” to talk to whomever is in my living room at that moment.

Looking at the price of the device in comparison to what I use it for, it is definitely worth the money. There is lots of room for improvements, but for me it is the best voice assistant a car can have.