Skip to main content

Garmin DriveSmart 65 puts Alexa in your car and tells you where to go

Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa: The Biggest Thing to Hit the Road

Garmin just upped its dashboard game by integrating Amazon Alexa with its DriveSmart 65, the company’s top-of-the-line, voice-controlled navigator. Now drivers can have two digital voice assistants in the same device, with Garmin voice ready to help with travel and Alexa for everything else that Echo smart speakers can do.

The DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa premium edition is Garmin’s most advanced and largest “road-trip ready” navigator with a 6.95-inch diagonal, edge-to-edge, high-resolution display and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for software and map updates. The Alexa-enabled features in the premium edition work in addition to the earlier DriveSmart 65 model’s array of travel and navigation abilities.

Alexa won’t take over the Garmin’s nav features, but you can ask Amazon’s voice assistant to check the news and weather, update your calendar, create to-do lists, and set timers and alarms. Ask Alexa to play songs from your favorite artists from Amazon Music or music subscription services such as Pandora, SiriusXM, and iHeartRadio.

Like your Echo Dots at home, Alexa in the Garmin DriveSmart 65 will tell jokes or stories and play interactive games. With tens of thousands of Alexa Skills, you have a wide range of information and entertainment choices available, all able to utilize the Garmin unit’s audio and display capabilities. In addition, you can use Alexa to control your smart home devices while you are driving.

Garmin will continue to sell the previous top model, the DriveSmart 65 & Traffic, with voice-activated navigation and alternate route suggestions. Both DriveSmart 65 models pair with a smartphone for hands-free calling.

Say, “OK, Garmin” to begin your trip with voice control. Garmin’s “Real Directions” feature gives simple directions based on what you’ll see along the way, such as “Turn right after the red building.”

The DriveSmart 65 also accesses information about historic sites and national parks from the History networks, restaurant and retail information from FourSquare, plus live parking and traffic cameras for many city centers via the Garmin Drive app.

“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, Garmin worldwide vice president 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.”

The Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa is on the Garmin website now with estimate availability in two to three weeks. The new model will sell for $300. The existing Garmin DriveSmart 65 & Traffic retails for $270.

Editors' Recommendations

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
Alexa can now set sleep timers to simulate a sunrise using your smart lights
amazon echo show on bedside table

If you have Alexa-compatible smart lights and live in the U.S., you've got some new features that will be rolling out this week. With the new Alexa lighting features, you can set up wake-up lights or sleep timers and create new Alexa Routines to dim or brighten over a certain stretch of time, giving you a huge amount of control over how your home is lighted. Here's how the new features work.

Wake-up Lighting
One new feature is called Wake-up Lighting. This feature basically makes your smart lights mimic the sun rising in your home, but on your schedule. For example, you can make it so your bedside lamp turns on and gradually gets brighter when it's time to wake up. To set up Wake-up Lighting say something like, “Alexa, set an alarm for (time) with my bedside lamp.” If you want your light to do this every day, you'll need to set up a recurring alarm by saying something like, “Alexa, set up an alarm for every morning at (time) with my bedside lamp.” If you have a lighting group set up you can say, “Alexa, wake me up at (time) with lights.”

Read more
The Amazon Echo Loop is a smart ring that puts Alexa at your fingertips
Amazon Echo Loop

Amazon will release a wearable smart ring with Alexa packed into it. Yes, you read that correctly -- the new Echo Loop is a ring that lets you keep Alexa literally at your fingertips.

Announced at Amazon's Devices event on Wednesday, the Echo Loop has two microphones you can activate with a button tap, as well as the smallest speaker ever installed in an Echo device.

Read more
You’ll soon be able to have Alexa make a donation to your favorite candidate
amazon echo show 5 review mem 2v2

Many of Alexa's new features are the result of study and analysis on part of the voice assistant's development team. During last year's midterm elections, analysts saw a massive spike in questions related to the elections. Users wanted to know which candidates were in the lead in what area, where the nearest polling station was, and much more. The team took these questions and developed functionality they believed Alexa users would appreciate, which resulted in Wednesday's announcement of Alexa Political Contributions.

This new feature will allow users to make a donation to their favorite presidential candidate by saying, "Alexa, donate to (name of candidate)." Donations of up to $200 can be made to any candidate that signs up for the program starting next month. Donations will go through Amazon Pay, the payment processing service that already handles other types of payments made through Alexa as well as purchases made on the Amazon website.

Read more