Car Thing plays music and podcasts on voice command, but it’s only being used to understand how people listen to music while driving

By Corinne Reichert – C|net

Car Thing, Spotify’s music-streaming device for cars. Image credit: Spotify

May 17, 2019Spotify is testing a voice-controlled device for cars that will play music and podcasts. Spotify says it is only using the Car Thing device to test “how people listen in the car,” as the company’s focus isn’t on developing hardware but on being the world’s biggest audio platform.

“We don’t have any current plans to make this specific device available,” Spotify said. “We might do similar voice-specific tests in the future, so don’t be surprised if you hear about ‘Voice Thing’ and ‘Home Thing.'” For now, Car Thing is aimed at figuring out how to help drivers make it through their long commutes. The music streaming giant says Americans spend 70 billion hours driving every year.

A small number of Spotify Premium users have been invited to take part in the tests, which will run in the US only. “The findings from our test will dictate how we develop experiences everywhere you listen,” Spotify explained.

Spotify in April hit 100 million subscribers, double the number of people on Apple Music, and is currently offering three months of Premium for 99 cents.