Amazon’s automotive efforts appear to be taking a pit stop

Amazon set out its strategies to create ambient computing an even superior part of its customers’ lives at its hardware and services event on Tuesday. But however that aim comprises surveillance drones and being followed around your home by a rolling Alexa-on-wheels known as Astro, it was missing products for the other place people devote a lot of their valuable time on their cars.

No doubt that missing an automotive-sized hole in Amazon’s production, and there are some good causes to find it odd. Rumours regarding Amazon’s event started with the launch of a second-generation Echo Auto, together with several other expectations that finished up being correct, like the wall-mounted Echo Show 15.

Leaks of the Ring Car Cam in June also appeared to recommend that the Amazon-owned home security firm would declare release dates for its line of car products, which presented deliberately in Amazon’s fall hardware event last year but sadly not in this one, neither device launched.

Ring’s side of the secret looks to be easier to resolve because Amazon promises us its devices are still coming. The firm declared its development into car security in September 2020 with the outline of the Ring car alarm, Rig car connect API and ring car cam.


Amazon automotive efforts on hold now

The products marked ring’s first-ever change outer of the home and come with smart features like the capability to link to Amazon’s Sidewalk network to send alerts or record police traffic stops with a very simple voice command for extra safety. When we asked why these particular products didn’t seem at Amazon’s event, a ring spokesperson provided the following response:

“This is a fully new category for Ring, and we’re happy to get these auto security devices in the hands of customers once they are ready. Currently our auto devices are with our product testers right now so we can create the best experience possible. We’ve received great feedback thus far, and are looking forward to sharing more in the coming months.”    

(we also surprise if the interruption might have something to do with that Sidewalk network, which Amazon didn’t mention even once throughout the showcase. Some were angry when Amazon publicised it would retroactively add the feature to many Echo and Ring devices, demanding customers who didn’t want it to opt-out)  

Echo Auto, on the other hand, is a much better unidentified. Amazon first released the voice-enabled add-on as a way to get Alexa into cars in 2018. The device was far from faultless when we verified it in our assessment, struggling with location-based queries and burdened with the connection issues of whatever phone it was attached to. That leaves plenty of room for development for a second-generation device, but Amazon had nothing new to share at its event and didn’t instantaneously respond to an appeal for comment on the future of the device. It’s slightly strange for a product the firm was proud to say was pre-ordered by over a million people.

Spending more time at home due to the Covid pandemic might have made automotive products less of a requirement-it surely worked for car washes in my case- so getting Alexa into every car via hardware solution is perhaps not as urgent as it like before it was. Amazon has corporations with automakers like BMW and Toyota to assist fill that gap anyways, and even larger plans to let car brands incorporate Alexa into their cars with custom wake words.

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