The Google Assistant Driving Mode could soon be available in a few more countries, in addition to the United States.
If you live in the United States and own an Android smartphone, you’ve probably already seen Google‘s new Android Auto-like experience for mobile devices. Although not yet a full-fledged experience, the new Assistant Driving Mode intended to replace Android Auto is only available in one market: the United States.
The Google Assistant Driving Mode is a feature that allows drivers to listen to audio alerts on their compatible Android smartphone, make or receive calls, and send messages using their voices while behind the wheel.
It was first introduced in the United States in 2020, and early indications suggest that it is already in use in the United Kingdom, with many others on the way.
Google appears to be optimistic that the Assistant Driving Mode is ready to be shared with a wider audience after months of production. Android users in more countries will begin to see the latest Android Auto-like experience this week.
Previously, the feature’s official support page stated that it was only available in English in the United States. Some features “aren’t available in all languages or countries,” according to the update. Even though it wasn’t mentioned, this suggests that the feature will be rolled out globally soon.
This preview of Google Assistant Driving Mode is now available to Android users in the following countries: Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, India, and Singapore, according to Google’s support page.
Notably, the Assistant Driving Mode is now available in Google Maps to supplement the existing navigation experience. It begins with a dark gray bar at the bottom of your screen, with a microphone in the left corner and an app launcher in the right.
Your most recently used app appears in the middle, normally replacing your most recently used media app. A tap brings up media controls, allowing you to play/pause and jump tracks, while a second click brings up fullscreen controls, allowing you to “Browse” further.
The launcher uses a grid-based interface to display applications that are compatible with Android Auto. You can also use shortcuts to open fullscreen pages for “Calls” and “Messages,” which show frequently used contacts and recent conversations.
It is well known that making phone calls while driving has resulted in hundreds of collisions, some of which have resulted in major fatalities. As a result, the Google Assistant Driving Mode will allow a driver to receive or make calls as well as perform a few other tasks while driving.
The feature works on Android 9.0 or higher smartphones with at least 4.0GB of RAM. In landscape mode, however, the Driving Mode feature will not work. As a result, before enabling the Google Assistant Driving Mode, the user must first ensure that their smartphone is in portrait mode.
To get started with driving mode, begin navigating to a destination with Google Maps and tap on the pop up to get started. Or, head to Assistant settings on your Android phone or say “Hey Google, open Assistant settings.” Then select “Transportation,” choose “Driving mode” and turn it on.