Google announced today that Hyundai and Kia (both of Hyundai Motors Groups) are now using Google Maps technology in their vehicles. These automakers join Audi, Daimler and Tesla Motor Co.
“Using Google Send-to-Car, local search and voice search, Hyundai and Kia owners in the United States can access a variety of maps features through Hyundai’s Blue Link technology and Kia’s second generation UVO eServices telematics system,” says Google Maps for Business Senior Product Manager Mickey Kataria. “Voice search enables drivers to easily find destinations, while Google Maps and Google Places APIs – used to power additional trip planning services – give drivers even more ways to find restaurants, stores and other points of interest while on-the-go.”
“You should have access to comprehensive, accurate and useful information no matter where you are – including when you’re behind the wheel,” says Kataria.
Audi uses Google local search, satellite and Street Vie imagery in its Audi Connect technology. Daimler uses Street View for Mercedes Benz with the Digital DriveStyle app, which also takes advantage of local search and Zagat ratings. Tesla uses a 17-inch high-res display for Google Maps in the Tesla Model S. It also features real-time traffic updates.
In an announcement of its own, Kia says it is working with Google to provide content and search-based solutions enabled by APIs for its 2nd generation UVO eServices telematics system. Here are the features of that, as listed in the announcement:
- Google Integration: Utilization of Google Maps and Google Places to provide direction and location information.
- eServices Guide: Accessed via the touch-screen or voice command, eServices Guide places a phone call via Bluetooth hands free connectivity7 to a voice response system that explains UVO eServices to the driver in an interactive manner.
- Car Care Web: Through the UVO eServices owner’s portal, known as “Car Care Web,” owners can check vehicle diagnostics, vehicle status, maintenance schedules, driving behavior, and schedule appointments with their preferred or nearby dealer via their home computer or mobile device. Owners also can earn awards for safe and eco-friendly driving viewable on Car Care Web should they rank high enough among their fellow UVO eServices owners.
- My POI: Also available to UVO eServices owners is My POI, a feature that allows owners to send a destination from Google Maps through their Smartphone to their UVO eServices vehicle. In the convenience of their home or office, the customer selects a destination from the Web via Google Maps, once the customer’s Smartphone receives the destination it will send the destination to the vehicle’s navigation system the next time the Smartphone is paired via Bluetooth wireless technology. In addition, all destinations sent from Google Maps will be copied to the owner’s Car Care Web. (My POI is only available with UVO eServices vehicles equipped with navigation).
- Vehicle Diagnostics: If UVO’s eServices identifies a problem by way of the Automatic Diagnostics function, it will communicate the vehicle’s issue(s) and its location to Kia’s 24/7 call center or will schedule an appointment online with the nearest Kia dealership upon user request. With Manual Diagnostics, at the owner’s preference, UVO eServices can connect the user with Kia’s 24/7 call center or schedule an appointment online with the nearest Kia dealership, should an issue be found. Additionally, the user can take advantage of Scheduled Diagnostics from their Smartphone, setting a monthly diagnostic check of the vehicle. Upon completion, any issues found are automatically forwarded to Car Care Web.
- 911 Connect: In case of an airbag deployment, the Crash Notification Assist function will alert emergency services. During a 10-second window, the driver has the option to cancel the call, otherwise UVO eServices will dial 9-1-1, read the vehicle’s location out loud to the emergency services operator and allow the operator to speak with the vehicle occupants.
- Parking Minder: If the driver happens to forget where they parked the car, the Parking Minder function helps find it by sending the location of the vehicle to the driver’s phone. If preferred, the owner also can take pictures of the surrounding area for reference, write a reminder note, email his or her location and set an alarm if the car is parked at a meter. To guide the owner back, the UVO eServices Smartphone app will display the owner and the vehicle’s locations on a map.
Kia says that following the intro of UVO eServices in the Sorento, the system will be offered in other models, such as the 2014 Forte sedan.