Google Assistant Driving Mode starts showing, one year after its announcement

You’re always able to run the Android Auto Toe app on your phone to get a better / safer interface while driving, but Google uses that functionality (commercially the entertainment toe app is used primarily to connect to car entertainment systems), and it’s always appropriate. Does not work. Google announced the replacement on Google I / O a year ago and it is finally appearing on phones.

The driving mode of Google Assistant first came out in Google I / O 2019, but since then the company has been relatively silent about it. The purpose of the driving mode was to switch the phone to a minimalist interface with a single voice command, including a shortcut to the home page, including navigation, calling gender, music playback and other options. Google later said that the driving mode would replace the Android Auto Tona phone non-phone mode, although the company initially said that the transition would take place “in the coming months”, which was not very good.

Original incarnation of driving mode

Earlier this month, it began to appear that the long-awaited driving mode could end up as a feature within Google Maps instead of a supportive or Android-Tona app-independent approach. It looks like the functionality is being rolled out to more people, although it’s still unclear whether it’s a limited test, or if Google intends to send this to everyone in the coming weeks. Our friends from the XDA developers say that many of their phones have a new mode enabled, but it has yet to appear on any of my devices.

The new driving mode can be accessed by tapping your photo into the Google Maps app, clicking on ‘Navigation Settings’ and finally selecting ‘Google Assistant Settings’. This menu used to take you to the General Support Settings screen (similar to Accessible via Google Home, Search, etc.), but now it brings a new panel for driving mode. You’re supposed to be able to say “OK Google, let’s drive” to bring a new interface, but even for people with driving mode, it doesn’t work yet.

Driving Mode (Source: XDA Developers)

In its current incarnation, Driving Mode combines a bottom toolbar on Google Maps with a support button, a scroll button through supported apps, and media controls. The general design is similar to the Android Auto Toe, but the controls will fit the aspect ratio of the phone better.

Keep an eye out for new driving modes as they (probably) begin to reach more phones. The hope here is that Google will eventually integrate it from the map, so you can use alternative mapping applications like WAZ.

Maps - Navigate and explore
Maps - Navigate and explore