The 2016 Kia Optima offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, making it the first vehicle in Kia’s lineup to integrate with smartphone operating systems. This is big news not only because it’s a major step forward in technological integration, but also because it’s a technology that has a chance of eliminating – or at least limiting – dangerous distracted-driving behaviors.
Say, for example, you were driving on the highway when you received a text message from an old friend. Rather than deciding between reading the text on the road and waiting until you reach your destination (pro tip: never text and drive!), with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you can have your text messages read to you out loud, then dictate a reply using Kia’s voice-recognition software. The National Safety Council has found that 1.6 million car crashes are caused by phone-related distracted driving, and the introduction of technology to reduce that number is a step in the right direction.
Those who don’t have navigation built into their infotainment system can use the map feature on their phone. Those who don’t like using physical CDs and audiobooks can now use services like Pandora and Audible on the go. Heck, parents sharing a car with teenagers can now monitor where the car is, how fast it’s going, and whether or not it actually rolls into the driveway before curfew.
In all, the introduction of total smartphone integration to a new Kia vehicle is exciting for the brand as a whole. As a perennial best-seller and car of the year candidate, it makes sense for the Optima to lead the way, but it won’t be long before more of Kia’s lineup follows suit. We’re looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the new Optima, which just arrived at Butler Kia last week!