Android Auto has steadily been gaining traction and Kia is the latest vehicle manufacturer to announce some major integration of the platform. Speaking at the Geneva International Motor Show, Kia has unveiled that it will be offering Android Auto as an option in its entire range of cars in Europe come the end of 2017.
The first Kia to feature Android Auto will be the company’s Niro, a “hybrid utility vehicle” announced as part of the company’s plans to triple the number of eco-friendly vehicles that it offers by the year 2020. This car will make its début in the third quarter of 2016. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid and Optima Sportswagon will then be the next vehicles to gain support, which will arrive later in the year.
“In-car connectivity is increasingly important to our buyers, who are young-at-heart and often seek the latest technologies on offer. It makes a great deal of sense to offer full Android and Apple compatibility so our customers can use a wide range of smartphone functions in a safe and seamless way. Kia is integrating these technologies to let drivers maintain their concentration on the road ahead.” – Kia Europe COO Michael Cole
Along with Android Auto, the range will also come with the company’s own Kia Connected Services feature. The service is powered by TomTom and offers up live traffic updates, speed camera locations, weather forecasts, and other pieces of information that will likely be of interest to users. Although the feature is free of charge for the first seven years, users will have to pay after that.
In-car connectivity is quickly becoming a major selling feature and 2016 looks to be the year that Android Auto finally enters the mainstream automotive market.