Hyundai adopts Google Maps, begins the Apple vs. Google in-car wars

 Hyundai Blue Link

The reintroduction of the infamous Audi Allroad in the summer of 2012 brought with it a stunning and exciting piece of tech: Google Earth. With it, users could see a 3D image of their surroundings in full Google Earth high-def color.

Now Hyundai has jumped on board the Google bandwagon and announced that it will include Google Maps in its vehicles sold within the US. Google Maps will supplant the current navigation system built into Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics platform. Hyundai says this new addition will make finding destinations easier for drivers.

Blue Link is capable of connecting with the Hyundai owner’s smartphone through the Blue Link App. With a new Send to Car feature, Point of Interest Search, and Local Search by Voice, the Google Maps integration will certainly be a benefit to Hyundai buyers. “Google will be powering the back end of Blue Link,” said Rob Lescaille of Hyundai Public Relations. “We’re very excited about Google’s reliability. We have access to Google application programming interfaces (API) and we’re going to use it,” Lescaille added.

This announcement comes just a few months after a wave of automakers signed up to include Apple’s Siri into their new car infotainment platforms. Nine automakers in total aim to include Apple services in their vehicles. The three that held out: Ford, Hyundai, and Kia. Why did these three hold out? All have Microsoft Sync-based infotainment systems.

Based upon the scathing reviews of the Microsoft-based systems, we doubt the in-car technology battle will be waged between Apple and Microsoft. More likely is the Apple vs. Google battle. In time, we suspect the Sync systems will die off as Siri and Google begin to take over.

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