The next generation of in-car connectivity is finally here, and it is one that comes with a focus on safety by reducing driver distractions. The newly redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata will begin offering Android Auto as standard equipment on cars equipped with a navigation system. As for buyers who have already purchased their 2015 Sonata, the system will be available later as a software update – again though, only on cars with navigation.

Of all the benefits of Android Auto, the biggest is that it allows drivers to fully integrate their Android smartphones (equipped with the latest Android “Lollipop” operating system), meaning that now you can leave your phone alone while you’re driving. Actually, drivers have no choice: when the car and phone are paired properly, the smartphone’s screen is automatically locked. To use the functions of their phones, drivers can use the audio controls on the steering wheel, the touch screen or even voice recognition. The downside is that it must be tethered through a USB cord to take full advantage of the technology, but the numerous safety benefits far outweigh this minor inconvenience.

Android Auto is able to run various Google Apps such as Google Maps, Google Play and Google Now, but it can also run many third-party apps such as iHeartRadio, TextMe, NPR, Stitcher and Skype. After the new Sonata, Android Auto will be available on a growing number of Hyundai cars and crossovers. As for the software update, current owners of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata can have Android Auto installed at no charge by their dealer, and later this year they’ll be able to do the download for free by themselves.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Android Auto provides a seamless integration between smartphone and car in an easy-to-use fashion that reduces driver distraction. Hyundai is able to claim that it will be the first production car to launch Android Auto, but it certainly won’t be the last. Most other automakers including Chrysler, General Motors will soon offer Android Auto as well as its rival, Apple’s CarPlay.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

2015 Hyundai Sonata High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Press Release

Today, Hyundai becomes the first car company to launch Android Auto™ on production vehicles. Android Auto is premiering on the 2015 Sonata with Navigation at dealerships nationwide, and will later become available on other Hyundai models.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Is The First To Offer Android Auto Interior
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“Android Auto aligns with Hyundai’s core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness and simplicity,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “We launched this highly anticipated feature on our best-selling Sonata, adding to our promise of value. With the launch of Android Auto, we provide more owners with the experience of cutting-edge technology.”

Android Auto not only brings a high technology experience to Hyundai owners, but also improves safety. For example, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.1 Android Auto helps keep drivers’ eyes and attention on the road by integrating the advanced driving-related functions of the user’s smartphone with the familiar centralized screen, physical controls and microphone of their car. Furthermore, 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.

AVAILABILITY FOR EXISTING OWNERS
Owners of existing 2015 Sonata with Navigation can get the Android Auto software update free of charge at Hyundai dealers starting today. Later this summer, owners can visit www.hyundaiusa.com/myhyundai and download the Android Auto software onto a USB memory drive. Owners will need a MyHyundai account to start the Android Auto download. A MyHyundai account requires name, address and a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Once the USB with the Android Auto software is inserted into their Sonata’s USB port, it will automatically update the vehicle’s Navigation system to make it Android Auto compatible. The Android Auto compatible Navigation system with an eight-inch touchscreen display is available on the Sonata Sport, Eco, Limited, Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T models.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Is The First To Offer Android Auto Interior
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ANDROID AUTO
Owners will need the Android 5.0 “Lollipop” operating system or later, and the Android Auto companion app on their compatible phone to integrate Android Auto into Sonata’s screen and controls. A micro USB cable is required to connect the 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. Users of Android Auto will instantly recognize familiar Android phone applications, such as Google Maps, Google Now, messaging, phone calling and Google Play Music upon connecting their Android phone to their Hyundai vehicle. These applications can be controlled by voice, steering wheel controls and touchscreen. 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. Owners can find out up-to-date information about phone compatibility at https://support.google.com/androidauto.

Advantages of Android Auto

The Google Now card-based experience provides suggested locations and travel times based on the user’s searches, calendar entries and home and office locations, as well as weather information and “now playing” information for music streamed via the phone
App software (navigation, streaming music, etc.) is automatically updated because the apps live on the phone
Natural voice recognition with Google voice actions
Owners can easily bring their personal reminders, suggested destinations, calendar appointments and music preferences with them when they get in their car
Android Auto automatically pairs with the Sonata for phone calls through Bluetooth when connected for the first time via USB
Android Auto has familiar interfaces that are easy to use and have almost no learning curve

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