Carmakers are a big presence here at CES 2015, with names like Audi, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Ford, and Mercedes demonstrating their latest technologies, from advanced navigation systems to full blown self-driving vehicles.
We’ve already seen Hyundai’s BlueLink app for Android Wear, which lets you interact with your car from anywhere in the world, but now we’ve caught up with the Korean company to check out its Android Auto system.
Hyundai says it will put Android Auto on a majority of its upcoming models, with a focus on the mid-range. Google’s automotive OS is viewed as a cheaper alternative to Hyundai’s proprietary infotainment systems, and that means you won’t need to pay a big premium in order to get it in your car.
Rob from Hyundai walked us through the basic functions of Android Auto, starting with the biggest function of all (for drivers, at least), navigation. Thanks to the integration of Google’s voice recognition, you can start navigation with a simple query like “where’s MGM Grand?” You’ll get a very Google Now-like experience, complete with the familiar cards that show you info based on your past behavior, and full support for Google’s voice search. There are steering wheel controls as well, but for many tasks, voice commands will allow you to keep your eyes on the road.
Android Auto works in conjunction with an Android device, and supports apps like Play Music and more.
The system works on top of Hyundai’s infotainment suite, and the carmaker expects to offer it on a number of models starting this year.