Kia and Google have reached a deal to allow Google Maps and Places to be installed into the UVO eServices telematics system so drivers will have access to the map application even if they don’t have their smartphones with them.
Kia Motors America will have it installed into the 2014 Sorento for driving direction and POI locations. Drivers will be able to send a destination of POI to their car system from their smartphone, allowing them the option of planning their travels ahead of time and storing the information. They will also be able to find Kia dealers and control the navigation system with voice commands.
After the Sorento, other models will get the Google system. The popularity of Google Maps makes this a win-win situation for both companies. Users will get the same ease-of-use that they have always known with the map system and directions they can trust.
Hyundai will join Kia in using the popular map system, but it doesn’t say when or which models will have access. Like Kia, it will use voice for searches and allow drivers to send the information to their car system from their smartphones. Google already has deals with Audi, Tesla, and Daimier, but it had not moved into mainstream car manufacturers who preferred to rely on their own integrated system.
The UVO app will be available on the iPhone when it is first added into the vehicles and Android will get it soon after. This app also allows hands-free mobile phone calls and music.
The UVO app also reminds drivers where they parked their car should they forget by sending the location to their phone.
The partnership between Google Maps and Kia promises to expand Google’s popularity from the smartphone into other areas. Since Google is already testing driverless cars, one has to wonder what other innovations will partner it with auto manufacturers.
[Image via googleenterprise]