Amazon echo auto

So I got the Echo auto thing this weekend. can it be set as a presence monitor? I have not had anytime to mess with the thing yet, Just wonder if anyone else was using one and what they were using it for. thanks,

There's no direct way that I know of. Maybe there's a way using Tasker if it pairs to a particular phone.

I have 2 of these, one in each car. Not real impressed. Hard to connect to the car. Then, or at least with our phones, what is sent to the car as far as replies is flakey. So sound from them is iffy. I can give it commands just like the echos in the house and it will execute them, but can't always get an answer vocally. If that makes sense. Not sure it isn't just something to do with our phones.

I don't know anyway to use it as presence. But since you have to have it connected to your phone app for it to work at all, the phone Alexa app can be used as presence which is basically the same thing.

To use the phone Alexa app for presence just create a routine based on location, then turn on a switch to HE.

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The Echo Auto does not allow for presence notifications. However, your phone does within the Alexa app and you can create routines based upon that. Given that you have to have your phone with you when you use the Echo Auto anyhow, it's not a big stretch.

What you can do is create a routine for your device's location and have it flip a virtual switch in HE denoting presence. If you aren't using the paid version of Life360, this is a cheap way to get multiple locations to report back to HE.

I don't have the Echo Auto, but I have a Garmin Speak in my wife's car and a Garmin DriveSmart 65 in mine. Both have Alexa built in and are virtually the same as the Echo Auto. We use them for both navigation and music streaming. However, there are limitations; You can only stream from a very small set of sources, Spotify not being one of them. You can get around this by just opening Spotify on your phone and playing from there, but for full voice control it sucks. Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn are all supported though. Navigation is sometimes hit or miss as Amazon doesn't really have a good mapping solution like Google does.

I have heard the same reports which is why I went the Garmin route. I absolutely LOVE the DriveSmart 65 as it gives me a built-in, offline nav system (which my car doesn't have), plus Alexa in the car. The microphones on the 65 are much better than the Auto as well.

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We recently purchased a 2018 Dodge that had Garmin navigation built in. Was hoping there was a way to have Alexa on it. But apparently not.

I agree, the mics on the Auto are terrible. But for $25 it was worth trying.

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It was an option in my 2015 Mini Cooper, but I absolutely HATE the way it is integrated, so I opted to not get it (and also save $800 by doing so lol). I saw the Auto and thought it was cool for $25, but then I saw the DriveSmart 65 and got it for $230 on sale at Best Buy. With my certificates, I ended up paying $150 for it. LOL

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Haven't used it for any automations, but if you have an Android phone its quite a handy device for voice texting and (contrary to at least one early review I read) it now seems to work fairly seamlessly with Google maps for navigation. Not sure if any or all of that is supported with an IOS device. (Edit: per Amazon, text messaging is not supported on IOS). You can say "take me to a Starbucks (or whatever) around here" and since it knows your current location Alexa will speak a list of the closest ones and prompt you to choose one. From then on, without any further intervention Google navigation (with Google voice prompts) takes over, with the Google routing prompts coming from the same audio source as Echo Auto, directing you to the location with all its normal routing an re-routing. No need to look at your phone. Nav can also be canceled by Echo auto command.

One major caveat, at least based on my limited experience with the device-- if you have a spotty or weak cell signal, communication with the Amazon cloud seems to stop, sometimes in mid-reply. Frustratingly, if the signal is nonexistent or weak you get the 'I am listening' tone but your command is ignored. Not great for the fringe suburban area I live in; it requires keeping an eye on the cell signal strength indicator on the dash so you know when your commands are likely to be 'heard'. But when it does work, its a great upgrade for a car without Nav or good cell phone integration.

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Well damn. I signed up to get one of these when they first started taking sign ups. Never got a notification. I see they're now publicly available.

I think its still invite.

If I can use it to disarm HSM and unlock doors from car as I pull up I wll be happy.

I had it on this morning. And from honestly bluetooth connection on My personal car kinda sucks. I have a fancy touch screen and if I plu the Iphone in I get location and Map and all the voice stuff. but I dont think I can issue any commands.

I think it is available for order now. I had requested the invite months ago, got an invite shortly thereafter; forgot about it and didn't respond within the (week?) time window. So (weeks ago) I requested another invite and last week received another. Luckily the original 'invite' pricing ($24.99) still applied to the first one ordered.

I must return too many Prime shipments or something. :man_shrugging:

That's why I went with the DriveSmart 65. I need a GPS unit that works without cell signal as I drive A LOT up in the mountains. :slight_smile:

You can do that with the Alexa app already.

  1. Create a virtual switch and a virtual presence sensor in HE and share the switch with Alexa.
  2. In the Alexa app, create 2 routines that are based upon your device's (your phone actually) location and have them turn on/off the switch.
  3. Create a RM rule to trigger off the virtual switch turning on when you leave and off when you are home. The actions will be simple:

Trigger:
Virtual Switch **changes**

Actions:

IF (Virtual Switch(off) is on(F) [FALSE]) THEN
	arrived() on Alexa Sensor
ELSE
	departed() on Alexa Sensor
END-IF

Now, just add the virtual sensor to Mode Manager and HSM and you have what you need. :slight_smile:

The ability for echo auto to work with the car depends on the car. Because it talks to your phone, and your phone is paired, if you are listening to radio, the phone will not interrupt the car. Because this is not a phone call session (like when navigation interrupts to give turn by turn). Auto uses the A2DP interface as it appears like a music player app to the car. For it to work well, your radio should be in Bluetooth audio mode. Then it should be seamless.

Yeah, knew all that. But it's still very inconsistent with my car. Just one of those things.

I have a issue with using a command like that. We go past the house to much. I just would like to issue the verbal command.

I dont really trust the smart locks to do their job .

I have been using the auto for a few months now. It’s software has gotten better as of late. I also use an iPhone, and iOS 13 helped a lot. In my F150, with sync 3, I can now be listening to the radio, and if I ask Alexa something, the car will automatically switch to the phone for input and audio is much better, less choppy, and clear. If I have the phone plugged into the USB when I ask for directions, Alexa will give me options, and when I choose, iOS maps will open with directions, and also show up on the stereo. I was pretty unhappy with the Auto at first, but it is getting better.

Then just change the trigger in the Alexa routine to be something like "Alex, I'm home" or "Alexa, I've arrived" and then follow the same flow. :slight_smile:

Get quality smart locks. :wink: My Yales have never failed me in the 2 years I've had them.

For me, I use the Kevo locks with their hub. I do not allow unlocking remotely, but do allow locking. I trust the locks, but not the web...