Android Auto, Google Assistant Get Updates, Honda To Add Google To Cars In 2022

A slew of Android Auto and Google Assistant updates are coming, Google said in a blog post from Jack Krawczyk, Google Assistant product manager and Mickey Kataria, Android for Cars product manager.

Google Assistant

Citing customer feedback as the reason for the change, Google Assistant will now allow users who have connected their smartphones via Bluetooth to say “Hey Google, let’s drive” and open the new Driving Mode dashboard.

From there, tactile maps showing the basics of navigating a route along the way are displayed. The post states that the simplicity of the design allows users to just glance at the maps and stay focused on the road.

No scrolling is required to see who called or texted, and users can then quickly resume listening to media from Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SoundCloud, Spotify, or YouTube Music, among other sources.

A new messaging update lets the “Hey Google, turn on autoplay” voice command to read messages aloud as they arrive.

Driving View will become the primary user experience for Android phones after an update is released. Updates will start first for Android phones in English (US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, Singapore and UK), followed by those in German, Spanish (Spain, Mexico), French and Italian .

Android Auto on-board

Over 100 million cars are compatible with Android Auto. These models will soon be able to see Google Assistant’s music, news, and podcast recommendations, and will be able to set which app launches when Android Auto starts.

GameSnacks games can be enjoyed using the car’s infotainment touchscreen when the car is parked.

Dual SIM Android phone users will be able to choose which SIM car they will use when making calls through Android Auto.

Additionally, Android Auto will support a “work profile” which allows users to view upcoming meetings and messages on the car screen.

The new “Hey Google, pay for gas” voice command will allow users to pay at the pump on Android Auto or from their smartphone. Users will need to select a pump number and complete the process through Google Pay. More than 32,500 gas stations in the United States will enable the technology starting with Exxon and Mobil, Conoco, Phillips 66 and 76 stations.

Honda goes Google

From 2022, Google will be launched in Honda vehicles. This adds to the growing list of automakers using the technology, including Ford, General Motors, Polestar, Renault and Volvo.

The Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge are among the models integrating Google. The Chevrolet Silverado will add it for the 2022 model year.

Cars with built-in Google can use Google Maps, Google Assistant, Google Play and more without using a smartphone.

Finding a charging station via built-in Google is as easy as saying: “Ok Google, find me a charging station”.

Electric vehicle owners will also be able to take advantage of new battery thermal management support with Google Maps capable of preconditioning the vehicle before recharging it.

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