Korean automaker Hyundai is adding smartphone integrations to several models via a do-it-yourself installation.
Unlike on smartphones and computer operating systems, wireless software upgrades are far from routine in the automotive market. But that's changing.
Automaker Hyundai recently rolled out the first-of-its-kind free software update that adds a bridge allowing smartphone integration to several existing models—particularly 2015, 2016 or 2017 Hyundai.
The do-it-yourself installation software is compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto, and only needs the users' VIN number and a USB memory stick or the SD card from their Navigation system to complete the update. The carmaker's site, MyHyundai.com, has installation guides that walk customers through the process.
Barry Ratzlaff, executive director of digital business planning and connected operation at Hyundai Motor America, said: "Existing owners can now get the most out of their smartphones, by simply loading new software into their cars' infotainment systems. Just a few years ago, they would have to buy a new car to get such a power upgrade."
The software update for CarPlay allows users to make calls, get directions, listen to music, and even access their messages eyes-free with the help of Siri who will respond to requests via voice commands, while the update for Android Auto is integrated with functions such as centralized screen, physical controls and the car's microphones, and apps such as Google Maps, Google Now, messaging phone calling and Google Play Music can be controlled by voice, steering wheel controls and touchscreens.
This isn’t the first time Hyundai rolled out a software upgrade via its MyHyundai portal. Last year, the automaker offered Android Auto installation software to owners of 2015 Sonata equipped with navigation package.
The installation software will be available—for a fee—at Hyundai dealerships in the United States starting in June. The automaker is also expected to make an announcement soon about CarPlay and Android Auto upgrades for 2016 models that are equipped with Navigation.