The Co-Pilot Hands Free Cell Phone Device: "Does It Work?"

Despite the safety warnings, more and more people are using cell phones in their cars. It's gotten so bad, some cities have made it illegal to "dial and drive" without a headset or hands free device like the Co-Pilot. No tools needed, nothing to install--- just plug it in--- and your car radio becomes your hands free device. Ah, but does it work?

The Co-Pilot just plugs right into your cigarette lighter. Sure enough... our phone fit with no problem. We put the little audio cup over the ear piece, plugged it into the lighter and we were about ready.

The Co-Pilot uses FM station 96.1 so you can hear the person on the other end of the phone through your speakers. So we set it there and made a call to our producer, Marie.

At first we were pleased. Marie was coming through loud and clear. And she had no problem hearing us. However, every time Marie spoke into her phone back in the office, she heard herself echoing back into her phone. We figured Marie's voice was coming through the speakers and feeding back into the microphone. So we turned our radio down a bit. She still sounded great to us, inside the car.. but it did not get any better for Marie.

Just to make sure the echo was not being caused by the phone, we took it out of the co-pilot.

"Is it still doing the echo now?" "No it's not," Marie replied.

One final test... Our photographer, Jamie, got in Marie's car with his camera and a microphone. We kept the Co-Pilot set up in our original car and placed another call to Marie back in the office.

Jamie tuned his radio to 96.1 as well, and guess what? Jaime could hear everything we were saying while inside a different car. We found that Jaime could hear us from a distance of 12-15 yards. All he had to do was tune his radio to 96.1

So does it work? The company makes no privacy claims that I could find. But given the fact you're broadcasting to everyone around you, and the echo problem, we can't recommend this thing. The co-pilot gets a "no".