Hyundai and Kia will become the first major car brands to use Android in their navigation systems, starting this year, as the industry begins to move away from using in-house software for infotainment.
Hyundai and Kia will also gradually roll out the Android platform in all new car models launched next year.
The move appears part of a larger trend by auto makers to make their radio/entertainment system open source so they can become more like smartphones tailored for the car.
First to get Android will be the new Kia Soul and new Hyundai Genesis due by the end of 2013. Next year’s roll out to new cars will include the Hyundai Sonata.
Details on navigation functions have not yet been announced so the inclusion of Google Maps or access to Google Play is not yet known.
Tesla also recently said it plans to add the Chrome OS to its Model S, and possibly use an Android emulator.
Cadillac and Tesla already base their radios on Linux open source software and Ford uses Linux in its AppLink for MyFord Touch. Toyota also said it is planning a Linux radio in the 2014 Lexus IS and BMW has also announced plans for future use of open source software.
Open source software is cheaper to deploy and invites more innovation from a wider group of programmers. (See story here).