In separate announcements that went out today, Google revealed that it teamed up with two major automobile companies to integrate its mapping and navigation technology into new car models due to hit the market in the coming months.
Kia Motors will include Google Maps and Services in the UVO eServices telematics system, which will be installed in its upcoming 2014 Sorento CUV models. The service will be accompanied by an iPhone app on launch, with an Android version set to launch in the second quarter of this year.
Here’s a snippet from this morning’s release:
“The newest iteration of the UVO platform is a breakthrough as one of the industry’s first mobile pure app-based telematics systems, and now with the Google solutions and APIs, we take the platform to yet another level of enhancement for the Kia customer,” said Henry Bzeih , head of the connected car program and chief technology strategist, KMA. “Due to the popularity and ease-of-use of Google Maps, owners can remain confident in the technology and information being delivered to them.”
Google announced a partnership with Hyundai as well. The manufacturer will integrate Google Maps’ Send-to-Car feature with its own Blue Link technology to allow turn-by-turn navigation, voice commands and many other features also included in Kia’s UVO platform. There’s no word on which Hyundai’s models will ship with this functionality, but we’ll likely find out sooner than later.
Finding new opportunities to offer you data-driven services has become a specialty of Google. The company is doing the exact same thing with Project Glass, which we listed as one of the top product launches in 2012 alongside Jelly Bean and the Nexus 7 tablet device.