Hyundai first to use Android Auto in cars

Google is gaining on Apple for its share of the in-car entertainment market

Hyundai has become the first carmaker to enable cars to mirror a connected Android smartphone in a car's dashboard infotainment system.

Android Auto is premiering on the 2015 Sonata, which will let drivers request Google navigation tools from their dealership. It will later become available on other Hyundai models, the company said.

Ultimately, Android Auto developer Google believes vehicles will become just another mobile device platform as more and more natively have mobile operating systems (OSs) embedded in them.

First announced in June 2014, Android Auto (compatible with version 5.0 "Lollipop" and later) is supported by the Open Automotive Alliance, a group made up by Audi, General Motors, Honda and Hyundai, as well as Google and several technology companies.

Android Auto competes with Apple's CarPlay, and other open source standards such as MirrorLink or GENIVI, all of which enable vehicle infotainment centres to mirror a version of a smartphone OS onto a vehicle's head unit. By mirroring the mobile OS, drivers can use mobile applications, such as Google Maps or iTunes through the vehicle's infotainment system.

In the past, Hyundai also said that Apple CarPlay would be offered as an option on the 2015 Sonata.

Carmakers have previously been warned of OS lock-in when deploying Apple CarPlay by market competitors.

Hyundai first announced its alliance with Android Auto a year ago.

"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. "We launched this highly anticipated feature on our best-selling Sonata, adding to our promise of value. With the launch of Android Auto, we provide more owners with the experience of cutting-edge technology."

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