It was recently revealed that Google’s new Android Auto will now be available in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai just became the first automaker to offer a system that allows your smartphone to be compatible with your vehicle. In addition, this gives Google an advantage for being the first to offer this unique system in cars before Apple was able to offer CarPlay for its iPhones.
The production of Android Auto officially began after Hyundai, Audi, General Motors and Honda joined Google’s Open Automotive Alliance in the early 2014. It wasn’t until June of 2014 that the app was presented at Google’s I/O developer conference. According to Google, Android Auto provides easy access to phone calls and texts, music, navigation system, voice search, and third-party apps such as Spotify and Pocket Casts.
“Within not too many years, this could become almost a ubiquitous technology in the industry,” Cason Grover, a senior manager at Hyundai Motor America, mentioned in an interview. He believes this new technology will give Hyundai a huge advantage in the industry. “We have a great opportunity by being early because it’ll be a differentiator for us for hopefully quite some time. I think customers will very quickly start to see the benefit and see the reason to seek out a vehicle with this technology.”
The Android Auto app was officially launched this March. Customers can now plug in their smartphone into their car’s dashboard via a USB port. The smartphone, however, requires at least an Android 5.0 Lollipop OS and the Android companion app on their phone. The Android Auto will be able to link with the 8-inch touchscreen display or the steering wheel controls.
In order to acquire Android Auto, the customers must purchase the Hyundai Sonata that includes the 8-inch navigation screen. This will then raise Sonata’s base price from $21,975 to at least $27,450.
If the 2015 Hyundai Sonata was purchased before the launching of the system, customers can install the system themselves by downloading the car app to a USB key or by visiting a dealership for a free activation of the Android Auto.