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Asia300

Hyundai makes its South Korean models Google-friendly

Automaker's domestic vehicles will all have Android Auto as a standard feature

The Android Auto system integrates multiple smartphone features, such as music playback, into the dashboard interface.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai Motor said Thursday that it has made Google's smartphone integration system standard on all vehicles sold domestically, effective immediately.

The Android Auto software allows a driver to access smartphone features through the dashboard interface once the phone is connected with a USB wire. For example, one can play music, look up the weather or turn on navigation through artificial intelligence voice activation.

Hyundai has equipped a number of models sold in the U.S. and other markets with Android Auto since 2015. Now it is bringing that platform to every vehicle sold in South Korea, including those made by group company Kia.

Lawrence Kim, Android Auto's lead product manager at Google, who was at Thursday's launch event in Seoul, said a vehicle can constantly update functions through the application, within the five- to 10-year window before a driver typically replaces a car.  

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