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Hyundai and Kia to bring Google Maps, Places to in-car navigation systems

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Tesla Google Maps
Tesla Google Maps

Despite its massive presence on mobile phones, Google Maps still hasn't gained widespread adoption from automakers, who often continue to rely on proprietary GPS software for in-car navigation. But agreements with Hyundai and Kia announced today suggest Mountain View is gaining momentum as it works to bring Google Maps to more vehicle dashboards. Both auto companies will incorporate APIs for Google Maps and Google Places into forthcoming infotainment packages. Set to debut in the 2014 Sorento CUV, the latest version of Kia's UVO platform will utilize Google's services for driving directions and finding nearby points of interest (POIs) in what it describes as "a seamless and organic manner." Drivers will also be able to send destination data to their car from a smartphone using a "Send2Car" feature that will soon be added to Kia's UVO app.

Hyundai has also announced plans to integrate Google Maps data into its own Blue Link software, allowing the company to introduce new functionality like local voice search and a "Send to Car" mode similar to Kia's solution. Hyundai doesn't specify exactly when Google Maps APIs will be added to its platform or which specific vehicles will have access to Google's technology. These deals come in addition to existing pacts with Audi, Tesla, and Daimler. Unsurprisingly, Google is pleased with the expansion, saying its data "makes maps even more comprehensive, useful and accurate for automakers and their drivers."