Hyundai to Take Voice Search to the Open Road

Accessing Google Maps and navigating Google Now’s voice search while driving just got a lot easier for Android users with 2015 Hyundai Sonatas.

Hyundai is offering a free software upgrade to owners of 2015 Hyundai Sonatas with navigation that will use Google Now geo-location-targeted voice search based on Google Maps users’ past searches, calendar entries, and home and office locations to offer location suggestions. The upgrade will integrate Google voice search with the Sonata’s touch screen navigation system. The new software will also integrate other Google Apps, such as Google Play, along with third party apps, like Skype, Spotify, and NPR.

While Google announced plans to work with several automakers to integrate Google apps into vehicles earlier this year, Hyundai is the first to integrate the technology into its cars. A spokesperson from Hyundai tells Search Engine Watch that the company chose to pilot this program with Google instead of a competing search engine or operating system because of Google’s “speed and accuracy.”

However, Hyundai has not shelved plans to work with Apple to offer app and search integration to iPhone users, the spokesperson tells Search Engine Watch, and will soon offer CarPlay, a similar product from Apple, in its vehicles. “Hyundai and Apple are committed to delivering drivers the best possible experience while using CarPlay in their vehicles. We are currently working together to complete CarPlay integration, and look forward to making it available in the Hyundai Sonata soon.”

Android Auto is currently only available to Android users with the Lollipop 5.0 operating system and must be obtained through Hyundai dealers. However, this summer, Sonata owners can download the update through the Hyundai website to a USB drive.