Along with the unveil of the new Smart Displays form factor last night, Google announced that “Assistant is coming to Android Auto.” This re-announcement seemed a bit odd as Android Auto has long had these capabilities. However, it turns out that those voice commands were not from the Assistant found on other platforms.
According to The Verge (via Android Police), the previous implementation on Android Auto used Google Voice search. Only this week is Google rolling out the Assistant found on phones, tablets, headphones, TVs, and smartwatches to cars.
In practice, this should result in a more consistent experience, with commands to one device now guaranteed to work across all other platforms.
Google also notes being able to use any Assistant phone, speaker, or TV to check the status of your car and control certain aspects, like locking the doors. This feature is already available on vehicles from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai and coming soon to Kia and Fiat Chrysler.
Other upcoming functionality includes being “able to reserve a parking space with SpotHero or order your favorite handcrafted drink or food from Starbucks—all from the road.” These Actions are limited to voice-only functionality, with Google advising developers to “keep voice interaction and sounds simple and not too jarring or distracting.”
Google Assistant is rolling out to Android Auto in the U.S. starting this week.