This week, Kia announced that they were bringing Android Auto to a few new vehicles in their fleet. The even better news was the fact that they weren't simply adding them to new cars. Which would have forced their customers to buy a new car if they wanted Android Auto capability. Instead, they are offering it as an upgrade to their infotainment system. They aren't just updating their 2016 and 2017 models either. In fact, they are going as far back as to update the 2014 Soul with Android Auto. This is great news, since many customers likely won't be looking to buy a new car for a few years.
This is the way that Android Auto should be implemented into cars. Customers shouldn't have to go out and buy a 2015, 2016 or 2017 model just to get Android Auto. As long as they have the infotainment system (usually a 7-inch display with navigation, but this depends on the auto maker) they should be able to download the update and get Android Auto support in their car. And that's exactly what Kia has done here. In fact, they made things even easier. While their sister-brand Hyundai, pushed out Android Auto via a software update last year, customers were still forced to come into a dealership to get the update done. Kia is allowing customers to do it themselves. That's a great customer experience right there.
While Kia may not be the most popular car maker out there, they are definitely doing things the right way here. Allowing customers to upgrade to Android Auto without having to visit their local dealership, and adding more and more models to their supported list for Android Auto. All that's left is for their entire fleet to support it, which likely won't take too much longer. Hopefully other auto makers will follow in their footsteps and release Android Auto updates for their vehicles, even older models like Kia did with the 2014 Soul. This will really help the adoption rate of Android Auto, which even today is still a fairly niche product. Meaning that it's mostly only tech enthusiasts that have and/or use Android Auto. Something that Google has been looking to change, as they want everyone using Android on everything. Including their vehicles.