Amazon Adds Driver Aids To Alexa App

Alexa app in car

Amazon Inc. launched new features the company says will make the Alexa smartphone app more useful for drivers of automobiles. The features are detailed in an unsigned blog post on the company’s website.

“With the new ‘Auto Mode’ and ‘Start my Commute’ ... Alexa is making it easier than ever to navigate, stay connected, and be entertained on the go, while helping you focus on the road ahead,” the post reads.

The company says its new “Auto Mode” was designed to help drivers stay focused on the road “with easy to read visuals, large touch targets and intuitive features and shortcuts for the most common actions used in the vehicle like navigating to saved locations, placing calls to contacts and Alexa devices, and playing recent media.”

Four screens will share information with drivers, the post states: “the Auto Mode home screen, Navigation, Communicate, and Play.”

The “Auto Mode” home screen gives users one-touch access to frequent actions such as music, navigating to regular destinations and making calls, while the “Navigate” screen is designed to provide swift access to favorite locations, the post says. Users can make selections with voice or touching the screen.

The Communicate screen, the company says, “allows you to easily place a call, Drop In, or make an announcement to your Alexa devices.”

Finally, the “Play” screen, Amazon says, “shows your most current media played using any Alexa device and a convenient button to play or pause, along with a list of recently played media. Selecting any of the items in the list starts playing the media and brings up the Now Playing screen which provides additional controls specific to the type of media being played and the service used.”

Amazon sells Alexa devices for embedding in cars, and also sells a $49 hands-free device to connect a mobile phone to a car’s audio system.

A senior Amazon executive told PYMNTS in September that voice-activated devices have grown in popularity during the COVID-19 crisis.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.