Amazon reportedly testing in-car Alexa speakers

One of the first smart speakers (opens in new tab) to be launched in India, the Echo range (opens in new tab) from Amazon, has done fairly well for itself. Keeping the forward momentum going, Amazon has apparently been working on a line of Alexa (opens in new tab) powered smart speakers that are meant for automobiles.

The report by Factor Daily (opens in new tab) states that Amazon’s been working on these speakers since February and the global roll-out will happen sometime this year. According to their source, the company’s made this decision because “Both Prime (opens in new tab) and Echo (opens in new tab) sold more than expected. So they’re now bringing all products to India.”

The in-car Echo smart speakers aren’t just being tested in India, but in other parts of the world as well. 

In India, specifically, there’s apparently an increased demand for a wireless version of the Echo device as per Amazon executives who spoke to Digit (opens in new tab). Even so, the company doesn’t have any plans of launching a battery-powered version of the Echo just yet. 

It begs the question how the in-car Echo smart speakers will be powered. The only two options are to either be wireless or draw power from the USB port found in most cars. 

The report does confirm that the new smart speakers will be able to connect to the smartphone over Bluetooth and connect to the internet through that pathway. 

The speakers are also meant to rest on top of the car's dashboard. Not sure if that's the best idea, but surely Amazon has a plan for it.

Taking on the competition

Alexa is already taking on Siri CarPlay (opens in new tab) and the Google Assistant (opens in new tab) by partnering (opens in new tab) with different automobile manufacturers to integrate Amazon’s own infotainment system. So far bigwigs like Ford (opens in new tab), Volkswagen (opens in new tab), Nissan (opens in new tab), and BMW (opens in new tab) are already a part of this venture. The Alexa-enabled in-car system allows users to shop, browse the web and control their smart devices back at home. 

But, here’s the thing. With the in-car version of Echo being developed, it will undercut the requirement for the Alexa-enabled in-car infotainment system altogether. Users will have the freedom to choose whether or not they want Alexa in their cars and they won’t have to depend on their automobile manufacturer to partner with Amazon.

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.