We’ve known for quite some time Hyundai’s plans to push open-source infotainment into its cars as part of the Open Automotive Alliance, a consortium of automakers and aftermarket suppliers who will strive for that same goal. At the 2014 Google Annual Developers Conference, Hyundai showed its 2015 models running Android Auto infotainment interfaces.
A press release from Hyundai said Android Auto will be available in select Hyundai models starting in the 2015 model year. Android Auto reportedly will allow owners of equipped Hyundai vehicles to “project” their phone experience onto their Hyundai’s in-dash display. With Android Auto, drivers will be able to use Android apps and services that have been optimized for use in the car environment, the release said.
The release said Hyundai was able to take advantage of its existing eight-inch color touchscreen and embedded voice recognition microphone in adapting Android Auto to its cars.
Hyundai Silicon Valley Accelerator Lab Director Paul Choo said, “Android Auto’s clean and intuitive interface is a perfect match with Hyundai Motor Group’s interior design approach. The goal is to provide a smarter and safer way to use smartphone technology and convenience in cars. Android Auto helps us reach that goal.”
Upon connecting your Android phone to your Android Auto-equipped Hyundai, the automaker said you will immediately recognize some of the basic apps and functions of your phone within the Hyundai infotainment screen, including messaging, phone, Google Play Music, and Google Maps. Of course, third-party apps are expected to be made Android Auto-friendly, as well, including iHeartRadio, Stitcher Radio, and the NPR app.
The release said Hyundai’s infotainment systems will offer users the flexibility of having both Android Auto and Hyundai infotainment content coexisting simultaneously within the car. This will remove the need to switch between an Android Auto screen and a Hyundai screen, the automaker said. “Visually, it becomes part of the on-board system, displaying well-known icons for Android applications,” the release said.