In 2009, Kia announced a partnership with Microsoft that was designed to bring Microsoft's embedded version of Windows inside Kia cars. The Kia Uvo system allowed some of the Korean car maker's vehicles to come with a touchscreen with features such as satellite radio, voice recognition software and more. We got a demo of Microsoft's software working with the Kia Uvo system at CES 2010.
Well, it looks like that Kia-Microsoft partnership is now over. Today, Kia announced that the next generation of its Uvo in-car technology will use Google software instead. The press release states:
The immediate integration of Google solutions will utilize Google Maps and Google Places to acquire driving directions and locate Points of Interest (POIs) in a seamless and organic manner. KMA and Google look forward to continuing to work together to bring innovative navigation solutions to enhance the connected car experience.
The 2014 Kia Sorento, which will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013, will be the first car with the Google-powered Kia Uvo technology, with other Kia vehicles scheduled to add the technology later in the year.The system will also use voice commands to help drivers use the Google Maps feature for navigation, among other features. There's also an iPhone app that will work with the system when it launches, with an Android app scheduled to launch later in the year.
Kia's press release did not state why it decided to end its partnership with Microsoft. Microsoft still works with Ford for its Sync in-car technology system, which is now in five million Ford vehicles.
Source: Kia press release | Image via Kia