New In-Car Tech

Acura adds complementary Android Auto capability to 2019, 2020 RDX via over-the-air update

Acura is adding Android Auto to 2019 and 2020 Acura RDX models.

Photo courtesy of Acura

They said this was coming and now it's here. Android Auto integration just became available on 2019 and 2020 model year Acura RDXs in the U.S. When the current RDX generation launched last year, Acura made it known that the hold up wasn't on their end but instead that Google was having difficulty developing a software solution for Acura's new True Touchpad Interface.

The update, available over-the-air to owners, also includes feature and performance enhancements for the current RDX infotainment system.

This update utilizes each RDX's embedded 4G LTE Wi-Fi system with the new software being downloaded in the background while the vehicle is being driven or when turned off.

Android Auto 2019 Acura RDX 2020 Owners can self-initiate the update.Photo courtesy of Acura

To update the system, owners can check the True Touchpad Interface home screen system update button to accept and begin the update. The update will not initiate unless the vehicle is on and running in a well-ventilated area.

Acura customers who do not feel comfortable initiating the update on their own may contact their dealership so personnel their can perform the service for them.

Detailed instructions for this update and other vehicle downloads and subscriptions can be found here.

Android Auto allows Android device users to sync their smartphone's capabilities with those of their vehicle. Users can access maps, messaging, music, and other apps through Acura's interface. The RDX's system is compatible with Android 5.0 and higher models.

Current generation RDXs already come equipped with Apple CarPlay compatibility.

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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The Acura MDX is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura's new storyline has all the hallmarks of a feel good comeback. Not only is the automaker turning out high-level premium vehicles, it's making them sportier than they have been in a very long time. But, it wasn't all that long ago that the product lineup became mundane after years of inspiring drivers and being the go-to premium performance brand.

But now it's back. The move first signaled by the emergence of the Acura Precision Concept has played out, first on the RDX then on the TLX and MDX. There's more to come. Acura's planning new Type S models, designed to bring out the purest expression of performance you can get from the brand outside of its NSX sports car. There's other things on the horizon too.

A new video from the company showcases its heritage and gives brand enthusiasts a peek at what is coming for in the pipeline. Spoiler alert: it's more performance-centric vehicles.

2022 Acura MDX - “Origin Story” www.youtube.com

Acura enthusiasts will instantly recognize the names of people sharing the Acura story in the video: Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura Brand Officer and Art St. Cyr, vice president of the Automobile Operations Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. among them. Ikeda is largely responsible for this next chapter of Acura, himself a performance enthusiast. St. Cyr traces his Honda ties into the motorsports community, a niche market that plays heavy into this brand evolution.

The NSX is featured alongside the 2022 Acura MDX in the video. The MDX was elevated as part of the company's new strategy to has a more luxurious interior and dynamic handling as part of the redesign. The difference between the 2020 and 2022 model is like night and day.

The same can be said for the 2021 Acura TLX. A TLX Type S version is on the way this May giving the company its first Type S in years. The Acura MDX Type S is expected later this year.

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