Skip to main content

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.

Related Videos

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Google Maps for iOS and Android adds Uber integration, lane guidance, and more
google maps ios android adds uber lane guidance more

Google Maps for iOS and Android is getting a beefy update today, with features such as Uber integration, lane guidance, and improvements to offline maps, as well as more, making their way to both versions.
Uber integration: If you have the Uber app installed, pressing the "Get an Uber" option in Google Maps will show an estimated transportation time when looking for public transport or walking directions. While the integration is available "in some cities," once you press the Uber option, it'll take you to the Uber app. If, on the other hand, you prefer public transportation, Google Maps now shows over a million public transit stops.
Lane guidance: Google Maps also now shows you which lane to stay in or move to while driving. It will also show you alternate routes while you're navigating. For now, the feature is only supported in the U.S. and parts of Canada and Japan. No word on when this feature will expand to other countries.
Easier offline saving: While offline support isn't new for either the iOS or Android version of Google Maps, it has been improved with this latest update. Now, you can search a specific area, tap its place info sheet, and select "Save map to use offline." You can also assign a custom map name, if you so desire. To access the saved map, you'll have to sign in, tap the profile icon next to the search box, and scroll to see any saved maps you have.
Better browsing and train times: However, let's not forget about the smaller features included in the update. You can now browse through restaurants, bars, and hotels by opening hours, rating, price, and more. When you search for directions to a specific location, if you plan on taking the train there, for example, you can now choose the time and day you want to leave. It will even show the last train that will depart for the night, if you plan on going out and about in the very early morning hours.
The Google Maps update is now live for iOS and Android.
(Image courtesy of Wired)

Read more
Get your iDrive on: Apple slots Siri into the dashboard of a dozen automakers
hands on siri rides shotgun in the 2014 chevy sonic mylink

Apple has partnered with a dozen automobile manufacturers to bring the chatty hands-free assistant Siri to potentially millions of dashboards.
Outside of basic iPod and iPhone connectivity for music and phone calls, Apple has lagged behind Microsoft and others in getting a toehold in cars' infotainment systems.
That will be changing soon, following the announcement of "iOS in the Car" at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday.
Drivers will be able to ask Siri directions and get navigation results on their car's LCD screen, control music by voice and of course make and take phone calls. Requesting the reading of emails and texts will likely be another functionality. 
Market share of Microsoft, satellite radio providers and other brands currently used to entertain and inform drivers could be at risk considering the vastness (and loyalty) of Apple's mobile phone market share along with enhanced functionality of the oft-maligned Maps app, expanded Pandora-style operation of Apple's iTunes Radio music player, iCloud access and other Siri-controlled aspects of the new iOS7 operating system.
Carmakers will likely shift away from in-house or partner-developed tech systems like MyFordTouch, Que and others and offer driver-centered infotainment "shells" that function with mobile devices - typically phones - as the brains of the system, giving drivers an expanded interface they are familiar with along with more reliable voice recognition and automation. Apple's move may be the first big step in that shift.
Acura, Ferrari, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Opel (owned by GM), Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volvo are all on board. Honda, Chevrolet and Hyundai confirmed earlier they that will also work with Apple.
Hyundai released a statement shortly after the WWDC presentation wrapped up, saying "we look forward to bringing iOS in-car integration to our line up next year. With enhanced in-car integration, users will be able to interact using their voice with Siri or the vehicle's built-in controls to make phone calls, access their music, send and receive messages and get directions. Supporting Hyundai models will be available starting in 2014."

Read Digital Trends' full coverage of WWDC

Read more
Hyundai announces Siri integration for upcoming models
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport main

It looked like Hyundai was siding with Google in the in-car tech war when it announced a Google Maps-based navigation system last week. Now it seems the Korean carmaker is hedging its bets by incorporating some Apple tech as well. Siri integration is one of three new technologies Hyundai will unveil at CES this week.
With Hyundai’s new Eyes Free mode, drivers with iOS 6-equipped devices can use Siri to operate a car’s infotainment system. That, in theory, means drivers could ditch confusing touch screen menus for simple voice commands. Eyes Free mode also keeps a device’s screen from lighting up to prevent distraction.
As Ford has learned with its less-than-perfect MyFord Touch system, voice commands can’t always solve the problem of infotainment complexity. We’ll have to see how Hyundai’s Siri-based system works in the real world.
Along with Siri Eyes Free mode, Hyundai will show two other new technologies at CES. Dragon Drive, developed by Nuance, is supposed to make in-car voice communications more natural. Hyundai says it will allow drivers to dictate commands, such as telling the car to play a certain song or find directions to a restaurant, without going through a rigid set of instructions.
Rounding out the roster is Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL). With 1080p uncompressed video capability and up to eight channels of digital audio, MHL allows users to display apps and other content on the car’s dashboard screen (hopefully not while driving). This is basically Hyundai’s way of integrating smartphones and other devices into car infotainment systems. MHL also charges devices while they’re plugged into the car.
To complement the new tech, future Hyundai’s hardware will also be upgraded. Hyundai promises high resolution, multi-touch displays with a “user-centric interface design.” Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi/3G round off the list of tech.
Hyundai didn’t say which models will get this smattering of tech, but don’t be surprised if, like the company’s BlueLink infotainment system, these features eventually find their way into volume models like the Sonata, Santa Fe, and Elantra.

Read more