This morning, Gamin has unveiled its new DriveSmart 65 GPS that’s focused around Amazon Alexa. Promising to deliver the “ultimate voice-controlled navigator,” Garmin is banking on a large display, built-in Alexa controls and Wi-Fi connectivity as a means of bringing in potential users. It’s still going to be an uphill climb for Garmin as smartphones and in-car navigation systems are getting better each year. So will the DriveSmart 65 be able to cash-in with what is essentially an Echo Show on wheels? That’s the big question. Head below for more details.
Garmin DriveSmart 65 GPS: Alexa hits the road
Certainly since Google and Apple Maps hit smartphones a while back, brands like Garmin have been scrambling to keep their GPS business alive and well. The brand’s latest attempt to stem the tide comes via a large display with integrated Alexa controls. This is the first full-display GPS from Garmin to bring Amazon’s voice assistant into the mix. Alexa will primarily be used to carry out tasks that would typically require users to look at a device or other display within the car. While being dubbed as a “voice-controlled navigator”, there’s also an element of safety that Garmin is looking to cash in on.
The Garmin DriveSmart 65 itself is centered around a nearly 7-inch display, which relays notifications, guidance, real-time traffic and weather. Additionally, it can also be used as a hub to stream content to your speakers, including services such as Amazon Music, Pandora, Sirius XM, iHeartRadio and more. Garmin is squarely targeting those shopping for an upgraded navigation and entertainment experience in the car, but don’t want to install a costly head unit.
Pricing and Availability
The new Garmin DriveSmart 65 is available today for $299.99 direct from Garmin and at Best Buy. Today’s price comes in at the higher-end of Garmin’s offerings but the feature-set likely calls for this type of MSRP at launch.
The Garmin ® DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa brings the ultimate voice-controlled navigator to the 2019 Drive series
OLATHE, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the premium Garmin DriveSmart 65™with Amazon Alexa – the ultimate voice-controlled, hands-free1, portable navigator. Thanks to the built-in Alexa functionality, drivers can easily ask questions and complete tasks from the comfort of their car2 by requesting favorite tunes, asking for the day’s top headlines, or receiving weather updates. Alexa can also help drivers create to-do lists, add items to their shopping list, and access tens of thousands of Alexa skills.3 In conjunction with voice-controlled GPS navigation from Garmin, the Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa can help drivers maintain their hands on the steering wheel and keep their focus on the road ahead.
“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.”
Once the Garmin Drive™ app is enabled, drivers will be able to access Amazon Alexa on their commute directly through their Garmin DriveSmart 65 navigator. What’s more, drivers will be able to conveniently stay connected on the road through smart notifications4 and real-time features such as live traffic, weather, and parking5 details. In addition, customers will be able to stream Garmin navigation guidance and Alexa responses – including music selections from Amazon Music, Pandora®, Sirius XM®, iHeartRadio and more – through their vehicle’s speakers.6 The 6.95-inch Garmin DriveSmart 65 also allows for voice-controlled GPS navigation utilizing easy-to-follow, turn-by-turn directions from Garmin, while showing points of interest (POIs) along a route. The navigator includes a traffic cable with an extra USB port for the convenience of charging other devices such as a smartphone, and thanks to the navigator’s built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity, users can easily get map updates of North America and software updates without having to connect the device to a computer.
The road trip-ready Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa also features the HISTORY® database of notable sites, a U.S. national parks directory, preloaded and current TripAdvisor® traveler ratings and millions of Foursquare® POIs to easily find new and popular places. The Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa features fresh, accurate and reliable maps from HERE Technologies.
Available now through Garmin and Best Buy, the Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa has a suggested retail price of $299.99. To learn more visit garmin.com/drive.
The Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa is the latest from the consumer automotive segment of Garmin, the leading worldwide provider of portable navigation devices for automobiles, motorcycles and trucks. The company’s user-friendly navigation solutions have innovative features that provide time- and fuel-saving benefits to meet the demands of everyday driving.
For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary markets, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at newsroom.garmin.com, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin,instagram.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.
1Requires smartphone (sold separately) enabled with Bluetooth technology.
2Drivers should focus on driving and only use the Alexa functionality when safe to do so.
3The Garmin Drive app must be open and running on the user’s smartphone in order for the Alexa functionality to work and for access to the live services.
4To use this feature, you must download the Garmin Drive app to your compatible smartphone (sold separately) enabled with Bluetooth technology and GPS; see Garmin.com/driveapp for details.
5Parking data is available for most city centers; for coverage details, visit parkopedia.com.
6For vehicles that do not have Bluetooth or an AUX input, sound will be delivered through the Garmin device.
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