Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) wants to branch out to automobiles. Kia Motors recently signed an agreement with the tech giant to bring Google Maps and Google Places to their dashboard navigation system. Google’s services will become a part of the UVO eServices navigation and will allow Kia owners to share directions (or Point-of-Interest) from their mobile device to their car. This feature will also enable users check out attractions, restaurants, and other venues via Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Places.
Kia originally had a similar partnership with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which makes this change a huge upgrade for Kia. The car company also announced that the Kia Sorrento CUV 2014 will be the first Kia make to feature the new Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) upgrades. These cars are set to debut later this year.
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Henry Bzeih (leader for connected car program and KMA’s chief strategist) explains that the new UVO platform was designed to become a breakthrough for the automotive industry with pure mobile app based technologies.
Highlights from the press release include hands-free mobile phone management and hands-free music capabilities that include compact disc player, radio, Digital Jukebox, media player, and USB. Users can also control the on-board navigation system that allows the use of voice-commands and updated UVO eServices, with new features like 911 Connect, Roadside Asssistance, Austomatic Diagnostics, Manuel Diagnostics, Scheduled Diagnostics, vehicle maintenance, and eServices Guide.
The new features will not only enhance the Kia experience for drivers, but could also set the future trend for auto makers.
The app requires a car that’s equipped with UVO eServices and will only be compatible with Apple iPhones at the time of the launch. It’s predicted that Android devices will be compatible later on in the year. The Google-integrated system will also be available with the upcoming Kia Forte 2014 sedan.