Hyundai is the first automaker to offer Google’s Android Auto system.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata allows Android smartphone users to connect their devices to the car and access applications, such as Google Maps, by voice, touchscreen, or steering wheel controls.
Currently the feature only works with Android devices running Lollipop, the latest version of the Android OS.
Android Auto is premiering on the 2015 Sonata with Navigation at dealerships nationwide.
The car’s 8-inch touch screen can link to an Android device to show features such as navigation, messaging, and calls.
“Android Auto also will offer many popular third-party audio apps that owners have on their phones, including iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn, NPR, Stitcher, Skype, TextMe and many more,” Hyundai said.
Owners of existing 2015 Sonata with Navigation can get the Android Auto software update free of charge at Hyundai dealers starting today.
A micro USB cable is required to connect an Android phone to the car’s USB port. The first time an owner plugs his or her phone into their parked Sonata, the phone will prompt the download of the Android Auto companion app from the Google Play.
Last January Google announced that it was working with car companies such as Hyundai and Honda to integrate the system in their dashboards.
Google said that by 2016 model year the system would be available in 28 different brands.
The tech giant’s main rival, Apple, has also struck similar partnerships with automakers, including General Motors and BMW.
The South-Korean automaker said that it plans on integrating the feature in other models soon, along with Apple’s Carplay system, which offers features similar to Android Auto, but for iOS.
Hyundai believes that the feature will also play an important role in safety
In a statement the automaker said:
“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,”
“Android Auto aligns with Hyundai’s core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness, and simplicity,” Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement.