Bring Google Assistant into your car with the Roav Bolt, shown at CES 2019

Roav Bolt + Google Assistant
Roav

You can now take your Google Assistant out of your home and into your car with a gadget from Anker called the Roav Bolt, unveiled at CES 2019. The smart car charger will be compatible even with older car models so it can add smart features to your regular car.

With a Roav Bolt plugged in, you’ll be able to use Google Voice Assistant to answer your queries, cue up songs on your driving playlist, send SMS messages, and control your smart home devices. You could use it to wake up your smart home for when you pull into the driveway, or to change up the music in your car without taking your eyes off the road.

The device looks roughly like a regular in-car cellphone charger and plugs into the 12-volt cigarette lighter port in your console. Contained within its rounded shape is a dual mic array which has advanced noise cancellation technology that should make it easier to communicate with Google Assistant via voice even if there is road noise or other background noise in the vehicle. There are also two USB posts with rapid charging features so you can still charge your phone as well as another device if you need to. And on the top of the Bolt are four LEDs in the Google Assistant colors to convey information at a glance.

As well as being a receiver for your voice commands, the Bolt can also give you proactive notifications about important events, like receiving an SMS message from a family member or a reminder that you set for yourself to pick up milk on the way home. Once the device is installed in your car you begin with saying the familiar, “Hey Google” and you can then ask a question or give a command just as you would with Google Assistant on your phone.

A big potential use of the system is for navigation, including both getting directions to your destination and getting information about current traffic or nearby gas stations, all totally hands-free so you can concentrate on driving. There’s also the option to use Assistant to play music of your choice or to tune into radio stations or play audiobooks or podcasts using your cellular data. And of course you can make calls and send messages, too.

The Roav Bolt is available for pre-order now for a reasonable $50.

Home Theater

JBL’s Google Assistant-powered Link Bar now available for purchase

The JBL Link Bar is a soundbar that features built-in Google Assistant support as well as Android TV functionality, meaning it might be the only thing you need to plug into your TV.
Deals

Best Prime Day smart home deals: Google Nest, Instant Pot, and Amazon Echo

Amazon Prime Day 2019 starts July 15 and runs for 48 hours through July 16, so it's time to start working on planning your strategy. If you have electronics on your wish list, holding off till Prime Day could save you a bucket of cash.
Smart Home

Did you just get a brand-new Amazon Echo? Here's how to set it up

This hands-free, voice-controlled device can do so much. Here's how to set up your Amazon Echo, how to customize settings to get the experience you want, and how to set up more in-depth commands like smart device control.
Smart Home

Amazon cuts prices of ChargePoint, JuiceBox, and Siemens home EV chargers

Amazon cut the prices on ChargePoint, JuiceBox, and Siemens Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) home chargers to help plug-in vehicle drivers recharge their car batteries much faster than plugging into a regular home electrical outlet.
Cars

End of an icon: The last Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the production line

The Volkswagen Beetle is finally dead. The last one rolled off the production line July 10. While the original Beetle became a cultural icon, Volkswagen has failed to recapture that success with its newer models.
Cars

Uber driver becomes unwitting getaway driver for a gas station robber

A rookie Uber driver unwittingly played the part of getaway driver recently for a man who robbed a gas station. The first he knew about it was when cops surrounded his home and demanded he come out with his hands up.
Cars

ABS brakes helped airlines make more money before they helped you stop

ABS -- a technology that prevents cars from skidding under heavy braking -- has been around since the 1950s, when it was first applied to airplanes. Chrysler and Bendix jointly get credit for developing four-wheel electronic ABS in 1971.
Product Review

BMW gives the M4 CS additional performance cred, but it comes with lots of tradeoffs

Splitting the difference between the standard M4 and the hardcore track setup of the limited-production M4 GTS, the CS brings with it a sharper look to match its sharper performance, but there are some caveats involved.
Cars

Lexus will reinvent its design language as it electrifies its full line

Lexus plans to release an electrified version of every nameplate in its lineup by the year 2025. The term electrified is broad; it includes hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, and hydrogen cars.
Cars

The Rev-1 delivery robot is fast enough to hit the bike lane

Tootling into view is yet another wheel-based delivery robot, this one from U.S. startup Refraction A.I. The Rev-1 is designed for last-mile deliveries and is said to be faster and cheaper than many of its rivals.
Cars

Volkswagen and Ford confirm partnership on electric cars, autonomous driving

Volkswagen and Ford have confirmed a major tech-sharing deal. It will give Ford access to VW's MEB platform, which will underpin many of the German automaker's future electric cars. The Ford MEB electric car launches in 2023.
Cars

2020 Buick Enclave three-row crossover will give you a back massage

The 2020 Buick Enclave gets a number of small updates, including massaging front seats and a new infotainment system compatible with SiriusXM's 360L streaming service. The updated Buick Enclave goes on sale later this summer.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2019 deal dishes 15% discount on the Garmin Dash Cam 55

Amazon Prime Day 2019 promises great discounts on lots of items. Aside from the usual gadgets and appliances, deals for the Garmin Dash Cam 55 and other automotive tech products are also popping up.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.