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JBL Link Drive brings 'Hey, Google' voice commands along for the ride at CES

The in-car device can charge your phone via USB and enable clearer Google Assistant voice commands thanks to its noise-canceling microphone.

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Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
2 min read
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Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Fans and users of  Google's digital assistant have another way to safely bring that technology on the road with the announcement of the JBL Link Drive.

Google Assistant has found its way into vehicles via a few vectors -- primarily Android Auto , smartphones running Google Maps and now this new generation of Google Assistant devices that basically bring the Google Home experience into the cockpit.

The JBL Link Drive looks like a slightly enlarged smartphone car charger. It plugs directly into your car's 12-volt power point and boasts a 2.4-amp USB charging port. But the business end of the device has a noise-canceling microphone that's always listening for the "Hey Google" hot word to trigger Google Assistant on a connected phone.

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Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Bluetooth connects the Drive to your phone and your car to make use of the car's speakers. This means that you can leave your phone in your pocket and still be able to say, "Hey Google, remind me to buy eggs" or, "Text my mom, I'll be late for dinner." Of course, you can still also mount your phone to the dashboard and call up Google Maps with a voice command.

There's also a multifunction key on the Drive's face that can be tapped to manually trigger Google Assistant without saying "OK Google" or long pressed to mute the microphone. There's also the same four RGB LED indicators you'd find on a Google Home to indicate when the Drive is listening, thinking or muted.

The JBL Link Drive will be available from this spring for $60. 

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