The Garmin DriveSmart 65 has the somewhat dubious honour of being the first Satnav that can respond when you shout at it with exasperation.
The DriveSmart, with Amazon Alexa, brings voice-controlled sat-nav to Garmin’s 2019 Drive series for the first time, bringing drivers one of the most souped up handsfree modes in recent memory as you can grill your satnav on best routes, ask it to play your favourite tracks or even create to-do lists or recieve weather and news updates on the move from within the car, all without taking hands off of the wheel.
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Garmin’s effort has all of the strength of a regular Alexa powered device, so you can also use a bunch of different Alexa powered skills. Back in March of this year, Amazon announced that developers would be able to create optimised Alexa experiences for users that are currently driving, meaning you should expect several different Alexa skills to provide a boost to your automotive adventures.
“The integration of Amazon Alexa to our DriveSmart 65 provides a perfect solution for drivers seeking the simplest navigation experience available, with easy turn-by-turn navigation from Garmin and Alexa working as a copilot to answer any questions along your route,” said Dan Bartel, Germin’s worldwide VP of consumer sales.. “Customers can ask Alexa to play their favorite music tracks right through their car’s stereo, or even ask for things that can affect their drive like weather conditions.”
Garmin’s effort isn’t the first attempt to let you chat to your car like a low-budget Knight Rider parody, but it does feel oddly polished, especially when you consider that the device is preloaded with current TripAdvisor and Foursquare ratings to let them find popular locations while they’re on a road trip.
What’s not to love?