Hyundai and Kia vehicles to gain Android-based navigation systems by end of 2013

Car makers Hyundai and Kia (32.8 per cent owned by the Hyundai Motor Company) will become the first to incorporate Android into their in-car navigation systems, according to South Korean media reports. The two will move away from their own in-house software, to the open source software made available by Google found on phones and tablets.

The Android OS-based software, otherwise known as UVO 2.0, as Kia likes to call it, will be available in the new Kia Soul and Hyundai's new Genesis to be released by the end of 2013. The Android software will also apply the same system to all new cars slated to be released next year, including the new Hyundai Sonata. 

Specifics of how the software will work haven't been detailed, but it is said to have a big reliance on car and smartphone connectivity - especially useful for multimedia playback. Applications for specific use cases will be available, too. The inclusion of Google Maps - we hope - will be really cool on a car dashboard.

It's not clear if Google Play would be supported, or if Hyundai and Kia would use their own version of Android, like Amazon does with its tablet line. ETNews notes an interesting functionality around a "telematics function that can remotely control the car through the WiFi and modem connection". Specifics for this functionality haven't been detailed.

A splash by Google into the car space would follow similar from Apple with iOS. A new standard from Apple called "iOS in the Car" will be released in 2014 with iOS device functionality, control, and usage, directly via the manufacturers native in-car control systems.

Like smartphone customers, car manufacturers will now have to choose between Android and iOS. 



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