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(Pocket-lint) - Amazon will be introducing its own in-car device later this year, with the launch of the Echo Auto expected before Christmas.

While some vehicles are already announcing Alexa support for their cars, the Echo Auto is a separate device you place on the dashboard.

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We're awaiting full details, but the device will be available in the US on a beta program initially, with a special invite price of $24.99.

What is the Pocket-lint daily and how do you get it for free?

It will cost $49.99 when fully released.

What we can gather about the Echo Auto from its announcement during the Amazon surprise event in Seattle is that it will contain eight microphones and have deep links into Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze - all running from your smartphone.

That means you will be able to use navigation features by voice, even if your car doesn't usually support it.

Location routines will also be added to the Alexa app in time for launch.

There's no word yet on whether the Echo Auto will be available in the UK this year - we actually doubt it. Certainly, it doesn't seem as if the invite period includes regions outside of the US.

Maybe when the final product is ready for release it will be more global.

Writing by Rik Henderson.