Korean car manufacturers Hyundai and Kia (32.8% owned by Hyundai Motor Company) announced they will start including Android powered in-car navigation and audio/video systems as of the end of 2013 becoming the first car producer to mass implement an Smartphone operating system in their vehicles. The first two models to be Android equipped are the Kia Soul and the Hyundai Genesis models released at the end of 2013, followed in 2014 by all models from both manufacturers.
The Android AVN (Audio-Video-Navigation) system is rumored to have it’s own apps market and it is not clear if Google Play will be fully supported. The Android AVN will be able to connect with your Android smartphone allowing you access to entertainment features.
On the other site, Apple pushes it’s iOS standard called “iOS in the Car” which should be released in 2014 to allow iOS device integration via the manufacturer’s native in-car control system.
Here’s my 2 cents about it … Once again we see the big guys battling to lock users into their own ecosystem. We already saw this in the past with the USB cables and chargers – each manufacturer used to have it’s own plug model and people were sticking with a brand because of $200 worth of cables and chargers they have bought.
What do I want as a user (although no one cares about what I want)? I want universality – I mean what happened with the micro USB standard was amazing (of course, Apple HAD to continue using their own standards, but hey, Apple is above all standards and they LOVE locking customers into their ecosystem).
I would like to see a standard protocol mounted in all cars, a protocol that would allow syncing, music, movies and navigation wireless battery charging and full connectivity with Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Gecko, Windows, Mac OS, Chromebook, Linux or any other OS that integrates the protocol.
That would be Respecting The User and Allowing Him to Choose the product he wants to use.
OK … enough with the bitching, Hyundai and Kia going Android is a very good news and we hope this partnership will bring us one step closer to the true smart car!