The JBL Link Drive adds the Google Assistant to your car for just $60

From smart speakers, displays, smartphones, and more, the Google Assistant is creeping its way into just about anything and everything that it can. At CES 2019, JBL announced the Link Drive as a gadget that'll help bring the Assistant to your car.

The JBL Link Drive is a compact gadget that plugs into your vehicle's 12V socket (the cigarette lighter) and pairs with the Google app on your Android or iOS device. Once those two things are done, you can use it to issue "Hey, Google" and "Ok, Google" voice commands while driving to find the nearest gas station, add something to your shopping list, and anything else you typically use the Assistant for.

Whenever you begin a command, the Link Drive uses its Radio Barging tech to automatically turn down the volume of your radio so you can talk to the Assistant without having to yell over your tunes. When you finish talking to the Assistant, the radio will go back up to the volume it was previously set at. This also works when you accept or receive a phone call.

JBL outfitted the Link Drive with two noise-canceling microphones to ensure it can always hear you over the sound of any road trip, and if your car has an auxiliary outlet, you can also plug the Link Drive into that and sync it up with your car's speakers.

The JBL Link Drive goes on sale in Spring 2019 for $59.99 and will be available on JBL's website in addition to "select retailers."

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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Interesting, I wonder if it works with the Google home app, so that if I'm coming home with groceries I can tell it to unlock my door for me...
  • Cool. I'm frustrated that Toyota refuses to support Google and Android Auto. In the current Corolla, they use Apple Siri which sucks. In the redesigned 2020 Corolla, they added Alexa, but still no Google. This device will allow us to add Google.
  • Couldn't you save $60 and use Google Assistant on your phone?
  • My best guess is that this is for folks who either (a) need better microphone quality to increase voice recognition performance or (b) those who disabled voice recognition on their phones. I used to be in the first group. My Pixel XL never would recognize me with voice match so wouldn't unlock my phone. I always ended up using the fingerprint unlock plus holding the home button. I'm now in the second group. I have Google Home devices around the house that I actively use. Everytime I said "hey/ok Google," my phone would unlock only to have a little message saying another device is handling the query. And if I didn't turn off the screen myself, I'd have to wait for a timeout. It was visually annoying and power draining. So I just set it so Google only responds from the unlocked home screen or Google maps/Android Auto. This device would help me still utilize all of Google Assistant from any screen in my car with only voice