Kia to integrate Google Maps and Places with smartphone connectivity

January 2, 2013
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Kia Motors has announced a new partnership with Google. One that will bring some upgraded UVO services to upcoming Kia automobiles. These upgraded services will begin with the 2014 Kia Sorento and mean Google Maps and Google Places integration.

The 2014 Kia Sorento will first be available for sale during the first quarter of 2013 and otherwise, this integration will also be introduced into other cars in the Kia lineup including the 2014 Forte sedan. When the Google integration will be available aside, lets get into the features that users will be able to enjoy. Right off the bat, this means directions using Maps and points-of-interest using Places. And nicely done, this is not where the integration will stop. In fact, Kia drivers will be able to be able to look up directions or POIs on a smartphone and have those sent to the car using the Send2Car feature.

This will be done by using the Smartphone1 UVO app. The one catch here, the Android app is not expected to launch until Q2 2013. We have also yet to learn about the specifics of the app, such as whether it will be smartphone, tablet or both. And perhaps key for some, which versions of Android will be supported.

Some of the other in-car features will include hands-free support. This means Kia will allow the user to get directions, control the music and more with only voice commands. Finally, the UVO services also include other goodies such as Parking Minder which will help the driver locate their vehicle (from the phone) and keep track of diagnostics using a phone. The diagnostics will include the ability to set month diagnostic checks and even have this details forwarded directly to the Car Care Web.


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