SEOUL: South Korea’s Hyundai Motor said on Wednesday it has become the first carmaker to offer Google’s Android Auto system in its Sonata model sold in the US market.
The company said US Android smartphone users with a 2015 Sonata sedan can now ask car dealers to download the system for free if they have a vehicle with navigation.
Android users will be able to plug their phones into their cars and have details like navigation, messaging and calls appear on the vehicle’s eight-inch touchscreen, it said.
Hyundai, the world’s fifth largest auto group with affiliate Kia Motors, promised to install the Android system in other models, along with Apple’s version of the system called CarPlay.
“Android Auto aligns with Hyundai’s core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness and simplicity,” Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski said in a statement released in California.
“With the launch of Android Auto, we provide more owners with the experience of cutting-edge technology,” he added.
Hyundai said the Android system improves safety as it will prevent drivers from becoming distracted.
The smartphone’s screen becomes “locked” so drivers are not tempted to look down and interact with their phones directly while Android Auto is in use, it said.