Earlier this week, a report surfaced stating that Hyundai and Google were looking to form a partnership. Now it didn't specify what this partnership might be for, but many believe it's for self-driving car technology. Seeing as Hyundai is pretty far behind the curve ball when it comes to autonomous vehicles, especially when compared to their competitors. And getting help from a company like Alphabet would be a big deal. But before we all but confirm that is what their partnership would be about, let's take a look at their current relationship.
Last year, Hyundai was Google's launch partner for Android Auto. With their 2015 Hyundai Sonata, it was the first car to hit the road with Android Auto installed (it also came with Apple CarPlay). That's a pretty big deal, seeing as Google could have worked with a number of other car makers to be their launch partner. But that's not all. At Google I/O this year, Google announced that car makers would be able to create their own apps for Android Auto, allowing car makers to create roadside assistance apps and much more. Who did they use for example apps? That'd be Hyundai again. The public relationship between Google and Hyundai is still a bit new, but it seems awfully similar to the relationship they used to have with Sprint (remember how well Google Voice integrated with Sprint back in the day?).
Now while this partnership that Hyundai is looking for with Alphabet may very well be for autonomous vehicles – could be similar to the one with Fiat Chrysler announced earlier this year – it is still possible that it could be for Android Auto, which would definitely make things a whole lot more interesting, in the long run. Hyundai does have a few autonomous features already available in their popular lines of cars like the Genesis, Azera and Sonata. But they are far from having a fully autonomous vehicle. We'll have to sit back and see what these two companies are cooking up, it could be a pretty interesting partnership. As of now, nothing has been formally announced though.