The 2024 Acura ZDX will be the brand's debut electric vehicle, heralding a new era for Honda's luxury arm. It's also bringing new tech thanks to integrated Google services built into the infotainment system.
Automakers have historically built their own infotainment systems, with varying levels of success. In recent years, though, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have risen to prominence, with the tech giants lauded for producing a better user experience than car companies could hope to achieve. The ZDX will do an end run around that concept by simply integrating Google's smarts directly into the vehicle.
The integration with Google services will offer unique features befitting the ZDX. In particular, a special enhanced version of Google Maps will help drivers optimize long routes by finding the most convenient charging stops. Thanks to the deep integration with the vehicle, the app can also estimate charging times and even automatically precondition the battery for faster charging at high-speed DC charging stations.
The ZDX will also play host to Google Assistant. The voice assistant can handle common tasks like placing calls or sending texts, as well as changing the HVAC and media settings or the current navigation destination. Third-party apps will also be available via the Google Play store.
While the Google suite will be integrated into the ZDX's infotainment system, it will still feature the usual connectivity options. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity will be available for those that want to pair phones of either major camp.
"As Acura moves rapidly toward the electrified and digital future we're pleased to offer customers a choice of technology partners by combining embedded Google apps and services with our in-vehicle connectivity," said Raj Manakkal, Assistant Vice President, Digital Services Development for Honda's U.S. arm.
For Acura, this move simply makes sense. Google lives and breathes connected services and quality user experiences. Where automotive infotainment systems typically feel dated just months after release, Google knows how to craft a proper interface and keep it sharp year after year. It should be a boon to anyone driving an Acura ZDX when it arrives in 2024.
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