What is Amazon Echo Auto and how do I get an invite to pre-order one?

Not content with controlling your smart home, Amazon is making a play for your car with its Echo Auto hardware. Here’s what you really need to know about the new device, including what it actually is and how to get an Amazon Echo Auto invite, plus its price and release date.

The Echo Auto is about the size of a cassette and sits on the car’s central console and interfaces with the infotainment system. Users will be able to summon music, navigation and other standard Alexa queries using their voice.

Impressively, the device will leverage platforms like Apple Maps and Waze in order to provide voice directions via a connected smartphone, as well as information on opening times for the establishment you’re travelling to.

The Echo Auto includes location-based Alexa Routines triggers, which means users can set up a geofence to activate certain smart home appliances like thermostats, lights and locks.

The new in-car device offers eight microphones for voice recognition, which should help it to overcome the usual in-car noise. However, it doesn’t have built-in internet connectivity, meaning the (standardly priced) $50 gadget relies upon a connected smartphone in order to process requests.

Amazon’s first in-car device also comes with its own operating system and supports Alexa integrations like audiobooks, shopping lists, reminders and more.

It can connect to the car via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm aux jack and is powered by a Micro USB cable, which can be plugged into the cigarette lighter port.

Related: New Amazon Echo devices

How to get an Amazon Echo Auto invite and pre-order one

The Amazon Echo Auto is launching in the US on an invite-only basis for the special price of $25. Details of its wider release will be “available soon”, the company informs us.

You can request an invite to pre-order one on Amazon US here. We’ve applied for an invite and been told that “emails for invited participants will begin arriving later this year.”

We’ll update this page should we hear back on this or UK release details.

Have you been invited to pre-order an Echo Auto yet? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.