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Hyundai First Automaker to Offer Google’s Android Auto


Chapman Hyundai is excited to hear that Android Auto, a dashboard operating system for vehicles, started shipping out this week in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Those who have tested it out claim that Android Auto is a great way to access music, Google Maps, and other smart phone features without the need to take your eyes off the road.

Android Auto, Google’s operating system for cars was introduced in aftermarket kits in March, but this week, it has finally reached new cars, too. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is the very first car to be built-in Android Auto, although the OS will be soon added to other cars in the near future.

Android Auto allows a vehicle to connect Android phones with a USB cable, and allows certain apps to operate via the vehicle’s dashboard. Drivers are then able to do hands-free phone calling. They can also receive Google Maps directions on the fly, or listen to music via the popular Spotify or other audio apps, without ever needing to handle the phone itself.

It’s also worth mentioning that Android Auto doesn’t completely replace the Hyundai Sonata’s standard dashboard interface; it’s practically an app that launches automatically when a compatible Android phone (one running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher) gets connected. Furthermore, because the Sonata already has microphones and buttons installed in the vehicle, drivers can interact with Android Auto via voice commands or through cabin controls.

Google placed certain restrictions as precautionary measures on Android Auto to ensure that drivers don’t get distracted from taking their eyes off the road. Once a phone activated into the system upon plug-in, all control is subsequently ceded to the vehicle’s dashboard display, therefore drivers won’t be tempted to squint at the phone’s screen. App lists like song playlists within the Spotify app, are automatically programmed to play the set maximum length so drivers are unable to scroll endlessly. And notifications from Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media sites are entirely unable to be displayed in Android Auto.

The operating system is practically centered around voice search features, which automakers consider a safer way for driver software interaction while in the car because drivers can still focus on their attention on the road ahead. For example, Android Auto has the capability of reading incoming text messages aloud allowing the driver to verbally dictate a response, but won’t allow for rereading messages that have already been received.

There’s clearly some positive signs from early reviews of Android Auto, or at least its current implementation in the Sonata. “I found Android Auto to be a much more pleasant experience than Hyundai’s native system,” Dan Seifert wrote for The Verge. “It’s faster, gives me access to the same maps and music I use on my phone, and is just more pleasant and familiar to use. If I owned the Sonata, I can’t think of a reason why I’d use the native UI instead of Android Auto.”

Check out our Phoenix Hyundai dealership to learn more about upcoming features expected to be implemented in Hyundai vehicles. Test drive a Hyundai today!

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