Mercedes Benz, Kia add to Android Auto options


Google has been working diligently over the years to expand the footprint of Android into all manner of devices that consumers and businesses use. With their overwhelming market share, odds are good that you will come upon an Android smartphone on any given day if you don’t already use one yourself. Google has been trying to get into other markets like home automation and wearables, but the news has not been as positive in those segments. Just recently several partners have pulled back on plans to continue releasing Android Wear powered smartwatches and Huawei is even toying with the idea of switching to Tizen. Some good news for Google and parent company Alphabet is that Android Auto is getting a bump this week as both Mercedes Benz and Kia have expanded the models in their lineups that will be coming with the vehicle-centric version of Android.

Android Auto has slowly been expanding in the auto segment after an initial launch on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Three of GM’s divisions jumped on board as well with Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac all offering Android Auto as an option on some models.

According to new listings on the Android Auto web site, Mercedes Benz is bringing the platform to the following vehicles:

  • 2017 A-Class
  • 2017 B-Class
  • 2017 CLA Coupe
  • 2017 CLA Shooting Brake
  • 2017 GLA
  • 2017 E-Class Sedan
  • 2017 E-Class Wagon
  • 2017 E-Class Coupe
  • 2017 E-Class Cabriolet
  • 2017 CLS Coupe
  • 2017 CLS Shooting Brake
  • 2017 GLE
  • 2017 GLE Coupe

Sources have noted that the A, B, CLA and GLA class vehicles are all considered “mass-market” types of vehicles in the Mercedes Benz lineup. Meanwhile, Kia has an impressive list of vehicles getting access to Android Auto:

  • 2014 – 2016 Soul
  • 2015 Optima
  • 2015 – 2016 Optima Hybrid
  • 2015 – 2016 Optima Plug-in Hybrid
  • 2015 – 2016 Sedona
  • 2015 – 2016 Soul EV
  • 2016 Optima
  • 2016 Sorento
  • 2017 Forte
  • 2017 Optima Hybrid
  • 2017 Optima Plug-in Hybrid
  • 2017 Sedona
  • 2017 Soul
  • 2017 Soul EV
  • 2017 Sorento
  • 2017 Sportage

You might note that some of the vehicles on the Kia list are older models already on the market. Kia plans to supply Android Auto via an update, either over-the-air or by a visit to a dealer. So yes, operating system updates for vehicles are becoming a thing. In addition to the vehicles that can already take advantage of Android Auto, Kia also plans to bring it to the following vehicles:

  • 2017 Cadenza
  • 2017 Niro Hybrid
  • 2018 Rio
  • 2019 K900

For anyone out there in the market for a new car, would the availability of Android Auto be a factor in your decision?

sources: Android Auto (Mercedes Benz), Android Auto (Kia)
via: Android Police

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.