Anker and JBL are bringing Google Assistant to your vehicle at CES

Joanna Estrada
January 10, 2019

While you may already be familiar with the Alexa-enabled Roav Viva, the Bolt brings the Google Voice Assistant along for the ride for the first time giving you hands-free control over all manner of things on your Bluetooth-connected smartphone. Once the device is installed in your auto you begin with saying the familiar, "Hey Google" and you can then ask a question or give a command like you would with Google Assistant on your phone. Both Anker and JBL have announced small dongles that plug into the 9V port of your vehicle to add Google Assistant and a host of smart functionality without requiring you to buy a brand new auto.

The Anker Roav Bolt plugs into a vehicle's existing charging port from where it protrudes only slightly beyond the console's surface. The device even has the four LEDs that illuminate to let you know when it's listening, just like Google Home devices. 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.

JBL's device, the $60 "Link Drive", is expected to land in the hands of consumers sometime this spring, and it'll be nearly identical to the Bolt in terms of functionality (though it seems to have a microphone mute button, unlike the Bolt). In theory, said features should give the device the ability to ignore sounds like the wind rushing by your window or rain landing on your windshield, allowing for clearer voice commands.

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