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Hyundai Sonata Adds Android Auto In US, Australia Will Start With Apple CarPlay Photo:
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Mike Stevens | May, 27 2015 | 1 Comment

Hyundai’s new Sonata has become the first new car to offer connectivity with Google’s Android Auto system, although availability is currently limited to the US market.

Available to models that have satellite navigation, Android Auto is downloaded as a software update from the Hyundai website and then installed via the vehicle’s USB port. Owners are able to perform the update themselves.

Android Auto can then connect with any Android handset running the operating system’s latest 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ version, allowing the mobile platform to essentially ‘take over’ the vehicle’s display and infotainment system.

Above: Android Auto's first official Google preview was featured in the Kia Soul.
Above: Android Auto's first official Google preview was featured in the Kia Soul.

Hyundai’s first model in Australia to be offered with a next-generation connectivity system will be the new Tucson SUV, which will launch with Apple’s CarPlay system on all models.

Debuting at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, CarPlay works in a similar fashion to Android Auto, allowing users to access features of their iPhone in a screen developed specifically for in-car use.

As with Android Auto’s ‘Google Now’ feature, CarPlay offers voice control through the familiar Siri system as an upgrade of the earlier Siri Eyes-Free system.

Speaking with TMR today, Hyundai Australia's Bill Thomas said that CarPlay will hit other Australian models after it debuts with the Tucson.

"We've got Apple CarPlay coming first, with Tucson, and that will roll out to other models - not Sonata initially - but we're hoping to have it in i30 next," he said.

"The timing of that launch with other models is a bit fluid at the moment, but we'd like to have it in other models before the end of the year."

Above: Apple CarPlay running in a Mercedes-Benz.
Above: Apple CarPlay running in a Mercedes-Benz.

As for Android Auto, Hyundai’s Australian arm has yet to confirm exact timing, but it's coming.

Mr Thomas said that Android Auto will arrive "as quickly as possible".

"It's not set at the moment - we're not sure about timing and the software development, it's fairly complicated - but we'd like to see both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in our cars by the end of the year," he said.

Mr Thomas said that Hyundai carries out regular research into the market's desire for new infotainment technologies, describing CarPlay as "quite important, hand-in-hand" for the Tucson's launch later this year.

"We know the car itself is good in all sorts of ways, but that [CarPlay] really does put the icing on the cake for us," he said.

"It's certainly a very important part of the whole package for us. The importance of the system is going to become clear as we roll it out across other models, and we'll have a big marketing push behind both CarPlay and Android Auto."

MORE: Android Auto | Apple CarPlay | Infotainment

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