The first wave of truly connected cars has arrived. Android Auto is now available on its first integrated vehicle, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. As you head to your local dealership to test drive it, you can practise talking to your car on the way: “Ok, Google...”
For Android users running Lollipop, all you have to do is download a companion app and sync your phone with a mini-USB cable, and Google’s suite of apps like Maps and Play along with an array of third-party apps will cue up on an eight-inch touchscreen in the centre dashboard. The familiar, intuitive interface along with voice control are intended to help drivers keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.
I got to see a demo in a Hyundai Sonata at the LA Auto Show and my favourite part of Android Auto was definitely Google Maps, which was far better than any of the proprietary systems I’ve seen on other supposedly smart cars. Not only are the maps themselves the most beautiful and useful for driving, Maps syncs with Google Now to keep track of where you need to be and when.
Say you need to get to the airport to catch a flight—Google Maps will tell you not only when to leave, but provide you with door-to-door directions and real time traffic updates. Now that’s integration!