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Android Headliner: Android Auto is Finally Semi-Mainstream

June 6, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Around Google I/O last week, Hyundai as well as Chevy both announced Android Auto for a few of their models. Hyundai had actually announced Android Auto for the Sonata, Azeru and the Genesis months and months ago. They even demoed Android Auto on those three models at CES, as well as NAIAS in January. Hyundai has now started shipping cars with Android Auto built in and are releasing upgrades to Sonata’s that are already on the road – although you do need to have the navigation package to be able to get the update. And you do have to go to the dealership and have them load the update onto a USB and install it.

Chevy and General Motors also announced Android Auto. Chevrolet will be putting Android Auto in all 16 of their 2016 car models. Which is actually pretty impressive. Buick is also putting Android Auto in the 2016 models. Buick, Chevrolet and Hyundai have built in Android Auto, so there are also steering wheel controls. Which are pretty nice to have. Instead of having to reach over to the infotainment system to tap on the microphone, and call out some voice commands.

However, these three car makers are not the only ones that will be using Android Auto. If you take a look at the members of the Open Automotive Alliance – all of these members will have Android Auto – there are a lot more car makers that will be adding Android Auto. Including Acura, Audi, Bentley, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Nissan and many others. It’s worth noting that Ford has still not decided how they are going to build in Android Auto. As they don’t want to “give the keys” to Google and just have Android Auto, but they want to build it into their Ford Sync system.

If you’re looking to buy a car in the next year or so, Android Auto is something you’ll want to look for in the features. And on top of that, Apple CarPlay as well. Most car makers are building both into the car together, so if you change to an iPhone from an Android phone, you can still use the infotainment system with your phone. Which is pretty neat, and does make it a bit future proof. If you were to get a new car this year, or early next year, I’d recommend Hyundai, Chevrolet or Buick. While we’ve seen demo’s from some of the other car makers already, like Honda and Audi, we don’t have any time-table as to when they will have Android Auto on the road. While these three have already gotten it out there and on the road.