To start the year off, Google is announcing its partnership with Hyundai Motors to integrate Google Maps with the existing navigation software on Hyundai cars and some Kias.This will make it possible for users to search for a destination or get directions to a place on their computers and then have the trip data sent directly to their cars.
When they get to their cars to drive off, the trip data is already loaded into the navigation system. Google already offers this option with several other carmakers.
Apart from directions, the built-in navigation systems will also be able to tap into several Google technologies and data sets.
"Using Google Send-to-Car, local search and voice search, Hyundai and Kia owners in the United States can access a variety of maps features through Hyundai’s Blue Link technology and Kia’s second generation UVO eServices telematics system," Google explained.
"Voice search enables drivers to easily find destinations, while Google Maps and Google Places APIs – used to power additional trip planning services – give drivers even more ways to find restaurants, stores and other points of interest while on-the-go," it added.
This doesn't mean Google Maps will be replacing the existing navigation options, merely supplementing them. Users will get some integration with the existing Maps products and get more info in their cars about local places via the Google Maps API.
As an added bonus, they can also use voice search, like they would on their Android phone or in Chrome, for example. Note that all of this is only available in the US.
Google is already working with the likes of Audi to bring Google Maps and even Google Earth to some of their cars. The Mercedes Benz A-Class also integrates Maps features and the Tesla Model S actually has Google Maps built-in and displayed on the gorgeous 17-inch touch screen that replaces most other controls and displays in the car.