Google Maps Assistant

Google Assistant is an amazing tool that’s becoming more and more prevalent in the home thanks to smart speakers. We tend to forget that it all started on our smartphones, and while it might be awkward to use voice commands on your phone in public, your car is another story. Behind the wheel is the perfect place to use Google Assistant and keep yourself safer in the process.

If your vehicle supports Android Auto, you already have Google Assistant. Otherwise, you can use a new standalone Assistant device, or your smartphone alone can get the job done. Google Assistant has plenty of features to help you to keep your eyes on the road, so let’s take a look at how to get the most out of Google Assistant in your car.

Google Assistant Car Navigation Commands

First up are some commands that assume you’re using Google Maps for navigation. You can either launch Maps by tapping it, or you use Google Assistant here as well by simply telling it to “Open Maps.”

“Navigate to [Address/Destination]”

This one might be a bit obvious, but you have to start on your trip before you worry about any of the rest of these commands.

“Are we there yet?”

That’s right, as an adult you still have the option to use this old staple of car trips. Google Assistant won’t even threaten to turn the car around if you ask it again. When you need to sound like more of a grown-up you can instead opt to say, “How long until I get there?”.

“Avoid tolls”

A nice way to save some money if you aren’t in a big hurry and would rather save a few bucks than have to deal with tollways. Along the same lines, you are able to ask to “Avoid highways.”

“How’s traffic ahead?”

This will tip you off to any particularly lengthy traffic delays coming up.

“(Gas station/Restaurant) nearby”

Food, gas, and/or bathroom emergencies can all be remedied ASAP with this helpful command.

“What road is this?”

Often a useful piece of information and not always clear based on the signage, another option is to ask “Where am I?”.

Google Assistant Maps navigation

Google Assistant Car Communication Commands

These are two of the most common uses for voice commands on a smartphone, but nonetheless critical features of Google Assistant in the car.

“Call [Name]”

The oldest voice command in the book.

“Send a text to [Name]”

Self-explanatory, but if you gave up on using voice transcription for text awhile ago I would recommend giving it another shot. Things have gotten considerably better within the last couple of years.

Google Assistant Car Entertainment Commands

Cars with Android Auto support have the best implementation of Google Assistant-powered entertainment in the car. Those of us with a slightly older vehicle can still use Google Assistant via Bluetooth as opposed to our built-in system.

  • “Play [artist/genre/song/playlist] on Spotify.”
  • “Play [artist/genre/song/playlist] on YouTube Music/Google Play Music.”
  • “Play [station] on Pandora.”
  • “Play [artist/genre/song/mood/activity/playlist] on Deezer.”
  • “Play [station] on TuneIn”
  • “Play [station] on iHeartRadio”

Google Assistant is gaining features all the time and expanding the world of things achievable with your voice alone. Don’t view this as an exhaustive list of what Google Assistant does in the car — it’s just to get you started. And if you’re interested in accessories that can help you get the most out of Google Assistant in your car, here’s a roundup of some of the best.

If you have any Google Assistant commands that you find particularly helpful in the car, tell us all about them in the comments.

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About the Author

Sean Riley

Sean is a contributor for 9to5Google. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk mobile photography, wearables, or basically anything in the world of tech.