Garmin Speak Plus Merges Smart Dash Cam with Alexa

Garmin's new Speak Plus device — unveiled at CES 2018 — is the next evolution of the Garmin Speak: a dashboard-mounted Alexa device that gives driving directions. Currently available for pre-sale at $199 (it will later increase to $229) and shipping mid-February, this new model stands out with a built-in dashboard cam that offers tips to enhance the safety and comfort of your ride.

In addition to basic dash cam functionality, where it records video and saves clips when it detects an incident, it can also help prevent you from getting into an accident. This is because the camera provides warnings for forward collisions and lane departures — a feature typically reserved for higher-end autos.

MORE: Byton's Electric SUV Looks Like the Future of Cars

Forward collision warnings work by using the camera to detect cars ahead of you, and telling you if you're following too closely, or closing in on a car too fast. The camera in the car sends lane departure warnings when it notices cars drifting out of their lanes or off the road.

A third alert tells drivers to move when traffic is clearing in front of the car, which could be useful if you're caught in the middle of checking your phone. At the very least, it would be nicer than strangers honking and yelling at you to move.

Just like the Garmin Speak, the built-in Alexa integration allows drivers and passengers to ask for traffic and weather information, create and edit their to-do lists and control smart home devices.

MORE: 8 Biggest Tech Trends to Watch at CES

While the Speak Plus will allow you to stream music from Amazon, Pandora, SiriusXM and others, Spotify will not be available at launch. A Garmin spokesperson told The Verge that the company is "waiting on Spotify to give us the green light."

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.