'Alexa, where's my car?' Automatic syncs your vehicle with Amazon Echo

The connected car adapter is the latest product to craft an integration with Amazon's smart home speaker.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology | Wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
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We've seen a steady stream of gadgets jump on board with Amazon Echo this year after the online retail giant opened up the cloud-connected speaker's software to third-party developers. That's given Alexa, Echo's voice-activated AI, some serious smart home cred. Now, a new integration wants to bring your car into the mix, too.

The product is the Automatic connected car adapter , an $100 gadget that plugs into your vehicle's on-board diagnostic port and pairs with your phone over Bluetooth. Plugging one in lets you monitor gas mileage, investigate potential maintenance issues, and keep tabs on your car's GPS location. Starting today, you'll be able to sync it up with Amazon Echo, as well.

Doing so will give Alexa access to everything that Automatic tracks, and allow you to ask her things like how much gas is left in your tank, or where you last parked your car. You can also ask for quick glimpses of your driving history during specified periods -- for instance, asking her how many miles you drove last week, or in June.

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The Automatic connected car adapter.

Ry Crist/CNET

To use the new integration, you'll need to enable Automatic in the "Skills" section of Amazon's Alexa app. You'll also need to word your questions correctly by asking Alexa to "ask Automatic." For instance, to check how much fuel is left in your tank, you'd need to say: "Alexa -- ask Automatic what's my fuel level?" That's par for the course with Alexa's "skills," most of which require you to adhere to specific, pre-programmed verbiage in order for everything to work properly.

This is hardly Automatic's first such integration. The gadget already has its own channel on IFTTT, the free online automation service, allowing it to trigger a whole host of IFTTT-compatible web services and smart devices. For instance, you could trigger your smart switches to turn on whenever you park your car at home.

Automatic also works with the Nest Learning Thermostat , a fairly useful integration that allows you to start pre-heating your home as soon as Automatic detects that you're leaving work.

As for Echo's integrations, the list includes popular smart-home gadgets like the color-changing LEDs of Philips Hue, smart switches and plugs from Belkin WeMo, and the connected-home platforms of SmartThings, Wink, and Insteon. It also boasts an IFTTT channel of its own.

This has been a busy week for Amazon Echo. After being named as one of Oprah's , Amazon quickly announced that the smart speaker would arrive in retail outlets across the US this month, putting it on store shelves at Sears, the Home Depot, Staples and more, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

The integration with Automatic should be up and running by the end of the day. Moving forward, Automatic's team says that they'll be looking into new ways to put Echo to use.