At Google I/O today, Hyundai will show a new Android Auto app that adds a bunch of vehicle-specific functionality. The automaker says that it's "one of the first OEMs to show such an application," which gets us closer to the dream — never needing to exit Android Auto to hop into another user interface in order to use other functions of the car.
But at least for now, the app doesn't control key aspects of the car like heating and cooling. Instead, you get a bunch of ancillary functions like access to Hyundai's roadside assistance and service appointment scheduling, a monthly vehicle report to call out any service issues, and the setting of Valet Alert, which notifies you on your phone if a valet takes your car outside a predefined boundary.
While Android Auto and CarPlay are gaining traction in the industry, there's still a fight ongoing for control of the user experience in the dashboard — Google and Apple have their own UIs, while car brands have another. Most automakers have indicated interest in keeping control of the master interfaces, relegating Android Auto and CarPlay to "apps" within them. Hyundai, however, has shown more interest in turning over control and letting Silicon Valley guide the platform, slotting car-specific functionality inside. It was also the first automaker to market with support for Android Auto, debuting on the 2015 Sonata.
The new app, called MyHyundai, is expected to be available later this year.