Honda announces Acura ZDX will be first EV with Google built-in

Honda’s next vehicle to feature Google built-in integration, enabling native Android apps and over-the-air (OTA) software updates, will also be its first electric vehicle: the 2024 Acura ZDX.

The performance brand’s upcoming SUV will come available with apps like Google Assistant and Google Maps and more on Google Play. Google’s native integration will come standard on all trim levels of the ZDX.

To refresh, Google built-in is the branding used by the company for cars that support Google Automotive Services. Google apps and services are directly integrated into the vehicle. In this way, it’s different than Android Auto, which just projects your phone onto the vehicle’s infotainment screen. It’s also different from Android Automotive OS, in which Android controls the entire operating system.

Honda says that an “enhanced version” of Google Maps will offer Acura ZDX drivers “optimized route planning for recharging and finding charging stations along the way to minimize travel time.” Google Maps will estimate the charging time required to reach the destination and can initiate preconditioning of the EV battery when the destination is a DC Fast charging station, the automaker states.

Honda had previously used custom (and now outdated) embedded Android software in some of its cars but hasn’t leveraged much of Google’s service offerings. Now with Google built-in, navigation in the Accord will be Google Maps, Google Assistant can be used to control heating and cooling, and music from the Google Play app is just a tap away.

The 2024 Honda Accord features Google apps built in. And the Acura ZDX will be the next vehicle to integrate the company’s popular navigation and music streaming apps. Google announced earlier this year that it would be bringing more services to vehicles with integrated Android, including YouTube, Waze, and Zoom.

The Acura ZDX, a luxury SUV with many of the same styling and themes presented as part of the Precision concept car last year, will also be the first model sold exclusively online, Honda announced earlier this year.

Honda’s EV strategy so far has been defined by its partnerships with other manufacturers. Both of the automaker’s initial EVs, the Acura ZDX and Honda Prologue, will be built on General Motors’ Ultium electric architecture thanks to a partnership with the Detroit-based automaker. Meanwhile, Honda is helping launch Sony’s first vehicle brand Afeela, the first of which is said to go on sale in North America in 2026.

This article was published in The Verge

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