Hyundai and Kia Add Google Maps Integration to Blue Link and UVO Infotainment Systems

By Jacob Brown | January 02, 2013
Google is slowly taking over the world, and Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are welcoming the technology giant with open arms. Today, the two automakers announced that they are integrating Google Maps into their infotainment software packages, adding to the in-car connectivity already offered in Hyundai's Blue Link and Kia's UVO infotainment systems. Blue Link, a subscription satellite-based telematics system, will integrate Google Maps through Hyundai's infotainment system--part of what the automaker considers its Blue Link suite--with Send to Car, Point of Interest Search, and Local Search by Voice all being added to the infotainment suite.
UVO will be debuting its new eServices package on the 2014 Kia Sorento crossover during the first quarter of 2013, using satellite feeds for updates and diagnostic information in Kias. Kia's eServices is expected to be added to other vehicles later in 2013, including a new range of vehicles anticipated to make their debut later in the year for the 2014 model year. Kia will not be charging extra every month for UVO with eServices, per its announcement at November's Los Angeles Auto Show. Hyundai has not yet announced which vehicles will get the upgraded Blue Link service first, or when. In particular, Google's Send to Car application allows vehicle drivers to send routes and destinations directly from their smartphones to their cars. It will be able to work with Google Places, which is a database of destinations that will be readily available for travel. All of the information will be stored in a cloud and transmitted via cell phone signal and satellite. Both Hyundai and Kia's infotainment systems run off a Microsoft CE-based platform, integrating audio, navigation, and cell phone features into their respective infotainment systems. While both companies share many components, Hyundai and Kia have independently developed their infotainment systems, almost all of which have been developed in the U.S. for use around the world. That's right, the UVO system seen in the overseas Kia Quoris full-size luxury sedan was designed in the U.S. and then tailored for regional markets. Both Hyundai and Kia will have their systems on display during next week's Consumer Electronics Show. While we saw UVO with eServices last year, we'll get a better look at it next week in Las Vegas, and we'll be able to provide you with even more details then. Sources: Hyundai, Kia