Kia Motors said that it would introduce Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality across its entire European model range over the next 18 months.
As connectivity is the next big trend in the automotive industry, all automakers will eventually have to meet customers’ expectations in this area. Therefore, Kia said that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay features will be added across its entire European lineup by the end of 2017, as the brand seeks to offer the latest connectivity technology to buyers at all price points. As the first step in this direction, the new Niro hybrid crossover, Optima Plug-in Hybrid and Sportswagon models will be available with the latest smartphone-compatible operating systems when they are launched in the region later this year.
The Niro crossover will be the first Kia model to feature Android Auto from Q3 2016 – designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Once the phone is connected to the car via USB, users will be able to access the smartphone apps and functions through the in-car infotainment system, such as voice-guided Google Maps navigation, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Apple CarPlay, for iPhone 5 or newer, will shortly follow by the end of 2016. The Optima Sportswagon, which goes on sale during Q4 2016, will be the first Kia to offer both technologies from launch.