Kia announces Google Maps integration for new car models

While Google might be working on their own driverless cars of tomorrow, it looks like the company is wanting to expand further into the auto industry. The company is partnering up with Kia Motors to bring Google Maps and Place services into Kia's new UVO eServices telematics system, which will be rolling out in new models later this year.

Google's Maps and Places APIs will power systems included in Kia's new 2014 Sorento CUV models, which will provide Kia owners with turn-by-turn directions and also assisting with the location of nearby points-of-interest with Google Places. Kia also developed its own UVO smartphone app that will connect to the Sorrento's telematic system, beaming over mapping data from the handset directly to the car.

Kia's UVO also provides hands-free phone connectivity, options to connect USB devices and media players, as well as a number of maintenance and infotainment functions, which includes roadside assistance and maintenance services. The 2014 Sorrento is planned to go on sale in Q1 2013.

Tech companies have become more and more involved with the auto industry throughout the past year. Nokia partnered with BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, and Hyundai to push its Navteq mapping platform to vehicles and provide location and commerce content to their in-car systems. Even Apple got in on the fun and partnered with several car makers to bring Siri functionality to their new models, with GM becoming the first company to integrate it into its new Chevrolet vehicles.