Similar to Apple's CarPlay, Android Auto syncs with a smartphone to mirror some elements of the operating system directly on the vehicle's infotainment screen. The software allows for navigation through Google Maps, text messaging, and phone calls. Plus, it supports some third-party apps, as well. A driver can then control all of these functions through the car's microphone and physical controls. In a nod to safety, Android Auto also locks the phone's screen when in use to keep people from looking at their device while on the road.
Beyond the Android Auto software in the Sonata, users need Android 5.0 or later and a companion app on their phone. Several other automakers intend to support the standard in the future. Autoblog recently got the opportunity to try out the OS, and you can look forward to a full report about it.
First car company to launch Android Auto on production vehicles, starting with the 2015 Sonata with Navigation
Free Android Auto software update available for current owners of 2015 Sonatas with Navigation
Android Auto reduces driver distraction by integrating the driver's smartphone with the vehicle's screen and controls
Fountain Valley, Calif., May 26, 2015 – Today, Hyundai becomes the first car company to launch Android Auto™ on production vehicles. Android Auto is premiering on the 2015 Sonata with Navigation at dealerships nationwide, and will later become available on other Hyundai models.
"Android Auto aligns with Hyundai's core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness and simplicity," said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "We launched this highly anticipated feature on our best-selling Sonata, adding to our promise of value. With the launch of Android Auto, we provide more owners with the experience of cutting-edge technology."
Android Auto not only brings a high technology experience to Hyundai owners, but also improves safety. For example, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.1 Android Auto helps keep drivers' eyes and attention on the road by integrating the advanced driving-related functions of the user's smartphone with the familiar centralized screen, physical controls and microphone of their car. Furthermore, the smartphone's screen becomes "locked," so drivers are not tempted to look down and interact with their phones directly while Android Auto is in use.
AVAILABILITY FOR EXISTING OWNERS
Owners of existing 2015 Sonata with Navigation can get the Android Auto software update free of charge at Hyundai dealers starting today. Later this summer, owners can visit www.hyundaiusa.com/myhyundai and download the Android Auto software onto a USB memory drive. Owners will need a MyHyundai account to start the Android Auto download. A MyHyundai account requires name, address and a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Once the USB with the Android Auto software is inserted into their Sonata's USB port, it will automatically update the vehicle's Navigation system to make it Android Auto compatible. The Android Auto compatible Navigation system with an eight-inch touchscreen display is available on the Sonata Sport, Eco, Limited, Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T models.
Owners will need the Android 5.0 "Lollipop" operating system or later, and the Android Auto companion app on their compatible phone to integrate Android Auto into Sonata's screen and controls. A micro USB cable is required to connect the phone to the car's USB port. The first time an owner plugs his or her phone into their parked Sonata, the phone will prompt the download of the Android Auto companion app from the Google Play. Users of Android Auto will instantly recognize familiar Android phone applications, such as Google Maps, Google Now, messaging, phone calling and Google Play Music upon connecting their Android phone to their Hyundai vehicle. These applications can be controlled by voice, steering wheel controls and touchscreen. Android Auto also will offer many popular third-party audio apps that owners have on their phones, including iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn, NPR, Stitcher, Skype, TextMe and many more. Owners can find out up-to-date information about phone compatibility at https://support.google.com/androidauto.
Advantages of Android Auto
The Google Now card-based experience provides suggested locations and travel times based on the user's searches, calendar entries and home and office locations, as well as weather information and "now playing" information for music streamed via the phone
App software (navigation, streaming music, etc.) is automatically updated because the apps live on the phone
Natural voice recognition with Google voice actions
Owners can easily bring their personal reminders, suggested destinations, calendar appointments and music preferences with them when they get in their car
Android Auto automatically pairs with the Sonata for phone calls through Bluetooth when connected for the first time via USB
Android Auto has familiar interfaces that are easy to use and have almost no learning curve
2015 HYUNDAI SONATA
The all-new seventh-generation 2015 Sonata offers a more refined look through a new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, stiffer body structure, better ride quality, reduced noise, vibration and harshness, and advanced safety and convenience features. Sonata truly democratizes the premium design and convenient technology of the Genesis sedan for the mid-size class. The new 2015 Hyundai Sonata is built at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Montgomery, Ala.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Blue Link Connected Care provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for one year with enrollment. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.