Google Works With Automakers to Bring Android Into More Vehicles
Google has certainly been working with automakers in the past on various in-car projects. Just last week, Hyundai announced that Google Glass and other wearable devices will be able to be used by drivers to remotely and wirelessly operate some of the features of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis automobile. The new capabilities are being featured today at the PEPCOM Digital Experience event in Las Vegas, just before the huge 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens. The Genesis remote features will be made possible through Hyundai's cloud-based Blue Link platform, which will let owners of the vehicles connect wirelessly to a wide array of features using Glass or other wearable computing devices, according to Hyundai. The company will launch a Blue Link Glassware app to enable the connection between Glass and the Genesis vehicles. The app, which is still under development, will be available for the new Genesis, which will be released in the spring of 2014 as a 2015 model vehicle, said Johnson, who has already used the app and seen its functions. The wearable device apps will join existing mobile app offerings that Hyundai already offers to consumers. The apps for Google Glass and other wearable devices will only include the most useful and relevant information to drivers since the small screens only allow a small amount of information to be displayed, according to Hyundai.The announcement is also interesting in light of the ongoing legal case of a California woman who was ticketed in October 2013 for operating her automobile while wearing Google Glass. Cecelia Abadie, 44, of Temecula, Calif., pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in December and will go to trial on Jan. 16. Her attorney will argue that she was only wearing the device and not using it when she was stopped. In 2010, Hyundai launched its then-new Equus sedan with an iPad application that replaced the vehicle owner's manual with a digital, interactive version, according to the company. In the summer of 2013, Hyundai unveiled a new Car Care app that allows vehicle owners to schedule service, look up maintenance schedules, read quick reference guides and more. Hyundai has also launched Blue Link apps for iOS and Android platforms for vehicle owners, according to the company. In January 2013, Google announced deals for connected-car technologies with Hyundai and Kia Motors America to bring new mobile capabilities to drivers and vehicles. The Google deals included bringing Google Maps application programming interfaces (APIs) to Hyundai's Blue Link telematics platform and Google content and search-based APIs to the second version of Kia's UVO eServices telematics system. Hyundai Blue Link offers applications and mobile features to drivers. New features included a Send to Car feature for smartphones, Point of Interest (POI) Search and Local Search by Voice. Google has previously teamed up with Audi for voice-controlled local search information and satellite and Street View imagery, according to a previous eWEEK report. And Google has previously partnered with Daimler, which offers Mercedes-Benz A-Class drivers a Digital DriveStyle App providing Google local search, as well as Zagat ratings; and Tesla Motor Co., which offers Google Maps to drivers of its Tesla Model S. In the latter, Google Earth and Street View images are, one imagines, particularly easy to view, as the car features an in-dash 17-inch display.
"On Google Glass, vehicle information will be presented as cards optimized for the Glass user interface," the company stated in its announcement. "Push notifications will alert the owner when maintenance is due and allow quick service scheduling by enabling the wearer to initiate a call using the device's built-in functionality."