Back in November, Assistant Driving Mode started rolling out as part of Google Maps. Google today is making official the new “dashboard” experience coming to Driving Mode, while the Assistant capability is set to get wider availability and a new way to launch.

This new “dashboard” dates back to the feed shown off at I/O 2019. It’s now all on one screen — which means no swiping, and starts with a map card to places you might need directions for. It’s continuously updated with home, work, or recent commutes. Tapping launches Google Maps and brings you to the navigation experience introduced last year.

A “For you” card with media recommendations follows, while player controls appear to the right of it. Rounding out this dashboard are cards for unread messages and missed calls. The former — after you say “Hey Google, turn on auto read” — lets you have texts read aloud as they come in for easy voice replies, while the shortcuts also let you send a new one or initiate a call. 

Assistant Driving Mode is part of the Google app and will replace the previous Android Auto phone experience on Android 12+. The previous Auto app will remain available for users of older devices, but they can also opt to use the new Assistant Driving Mode dashboard with “Hey Google, let’s drive,” “start Driving Mode,” and other alternatives.

Google is also working on having Driving Mode automatically launch when connected to your car’s Bluetooth. Over the “next few weeks,” it will be fully available in:

English (US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, Singapore and U.K.), German, Spanish (Spain, Mexico), French, and Italian

In the future, Driving Mode will also be compatible with “Hey Google, pay for gas.”

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com