Hyundai is grabbing an early technological lead as the first automaker to launch Android Auto in one of its production models. The Google-made operating system is now available on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata with navigation, and current owners of the vehicle can get the software through an update available at dealers. The OS arrives on additional Hyundai products soon.
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.