COSTA MESA, Calif. — Hyundai has begun offering Google's Android Auto on its 2015 Hyundai Sonata, making it the first automaker to implement the software platform that closely matches one running on smartphones.
Starting May 26, Hyundai dealers can install the software update on 2015 Sonata mid-size sedans equipped with the navigation package. Owners of 2015 Sonatas will be able to update the vehicles themselves later this summer via a USB memory drive.
Hyundai and Google are pitching Android Auto as a safer alternative to other automotive systems that connect a smartphone. The system "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," according to a Hyundai release.
When in use, a smartphone's screen becomes locked, so drivers are not tempted to look down and interact with their phones.
Hyundai will offer Android Auto on its other models later this year. The automaker has also said it would offer Apple's CarPlay platform, but has not given an update on its availability.