Over the past few weeks, Google Home has been picking up the ability to do things like order pizza and play games, but a new partnership with Hyundai looks to expand the power of the voice-powered speaker beyond our living rooms. At CES this week, Hyundai is showing off a new integration with Google Home that’ll let you start or lock your car just by saying “OK, Google.”
According to a press release, capable Hyundai cars will be able to tap into Blue Link services like remote Start with climate control, destination search, and door lock by asking Google Assistant to perform the selected action. As the Korean carmaker explains, “Once a customer has successfully linked his or her account, Remote Service commands will only be sent to Hyundai vehicles after the Google Assistant prompts owners for their Blue Link Personal Identification Number.” Hyundai will be showing off the technology at CES this week.
Hyundai was one of the first auto makers to allow drivers to control their cars from their smartphones and smartwatches, so it’s no surprise that it has jumped on the Google Home bandwagon so quickly. Previously, Hyundai also announced that its services would be baked into Amazon’s line of Alexa-powered products, beginning with the top-of-the-line Genesis. At the time, it promised that all 2017 and most 2016 models would be upgraded with the feature.
Of course, all that cool connectivity comes at a price. Along with a newer model car, Blue Link costs $199 a year for the remote start and locking capabilities, and another $99 for guidance, though discounts are available for longer commitments. Hyundai hasn’t said when the Google Home integration will be available, but it does promise that extra features will be added before it launches.
The impact on you at home: You don’t need to own a Sonata to get excited about the prospect of using Google Home to control your car. Asking for the weather or the news is nice, but to truly make the voice-powered speaker useful it needs to be more of an actual assistant than a party trick. And the ability for Google Home to start your car when you’re rushing to get ready for work is fantastic sign of what’s to come.