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Upgrade your drive with Google as your copilot

by Jack Krawczyk on Sep.24, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Do you drive with your phone clipped to your air vent? Or does your car have the latest built-in infotainment system? No matter what kind of car you own, Google is ready to make your drive better.  We’re bringing updates to Google Assistant driving mode, Android Auto and cars with Google built-in (welcome Honda!) to help every driver find their way around, stay entertained, and keep in touch.


Google Assistant driving mode on Android phones gets a new dashboard

Millions of people in more than 12 countries use Google Assistant driving mode every day, by offering  voice-activated help via your Android phone in older cars. We originally launched it for active navigation in Google Maps, helping drivers manage tasks, like answering a call or responding to text messages with minimal distraction. 

Thanks to early feedback, we heard how important it is to have your go-to apps handy for your drive, even when you don’t need turn-by-turn navigation. So coming soon, you’ll be able to say “Hey Google, let’s drive” (or connect your phone to your car’s Bluetooth) to open the new driving mode dashboard, reducing the need to fiddle with your phone while also making sure you stay focused on the road. With glanceable, tappable cards, the basics you’ll need for the road are available with a single tap — no scrolling required: Start your navigation, see who called or texted recently and quickly resume media from Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRadio, JioSaavn, Pandora, Podcast Addict, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube Music and more providers. Plus, there’s a new messaging update: Just say “​​Hey Google, turn on auto read” to hear new messages read aloud as they come in and to respond by voice.

Driving mode will be the primary experience for Android phones going forward and will fully roll out in the next few weeks for Android phones in English (U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, Singapore and U.K.), German, Spanish (Spain, Mexico), French and Italian.

Image of the new Google Assistant driving mode dashboard which features easy to see, tappable cards to find media, navigate and call / text..

Improvements coming to Android Auto on car displays

We’re also launching new features for the more than 100 million cars compatible with Android Auto — bringing help from Google onto your car display via your Android phone. 

You’ll now see music, news and podcast recommendations from Google Assistant, and be able to set which app launches whenever Android Auto starts. You’ll even be able to enjoy games from GameSnacks right from the car’s display while you’re parked, waiting for a to-go order or charging your vehicle. 

If you’re a dual-SIM Android phone user, you can now choose which SIM card to use when making calls through Android Auto. And great news for commuters: ​​Android Auto will support your “Work profile,” which lets you see upcoming work meetings and messages on your car’s display. 

When it’s time to fill up at the gas station, you can now put away your credit card or cash and say, “Hey Google, pay for gas” on Android Auto or from your Android phone. Select your pump number and  complete contactless payment with Google Pay. This will be available at over 32,500 gas stations across the U.S. starting with Exxon and Mobil, Conoco, Phillips 66 and 76 stations. 


The best of Google apps and services built-in to more cars

In the coming years, millions of cars will have Google fully built-in to their infotainment systems, so you can get around with Google Maps, use Google Assistant to turn on the A/C, download your favorite apps on Google Play and much more, even without a smartphone.

Image of Honda's brand logo

We’re excited to share that our newest partner, Honda, will be launching future models with Google built-in starting in 2022. In addition to Honda, this experience will be available on cars from top brands including Ford, General Motors, Polestar, Renault and Volvo Cars. Today, you can test drive or purchase cars with Google built-in —  like the Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge — and it’s coming to many more cars soon, like the new Chevrolet Silverado and Renault Mégane E-TECH Electric.

Image of a user asking Google to help find the nearest charging station from a car with Google -built in

If you drive an electric vehicle with Google built in, we make it easy to find charging stations and minimize charging time with Google Maps. Just say, “Hey Google, find me a charging station” to instantly see nearby stations compatible with your car, payment type and speed preferences, along with real-time information about whether or not a charger is available. And with new support for thermal battery management, Google Maps saves you precious time by helping your car’s battery heat up or cool down before you charge, reducing the amount of time you need to spend at a charger. 

No matter what car you drive, we’re working hard to make sure you have the help you need from Google to get things done while keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. 


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