Android phones will soon receive a ‘driving mode’ courtesy of Google Assistant

Google Assistant is about to become a much more helpful passenger while you’re on the road. The assistant is getting a new “driving mode” with voice commands that should make it easier to interact with your device and access the information you need without ever taking your hands off the wheel. The new feature, announced during Google I/O, will be made available to all Android phones with Google Assistant later this summer.

Driving mode is activated by saying, “Hey Google, let’s drive.” Once turned on, Assistant displays a dashboard with shortcuts to the most relevant activities. If you have a reservation at a restaurant on your Google Calendar, Assistant will offer a shortcut to navigate to your dinner spot. Most used contacts will also be placed front and center so they are easy to get ahold of if needed, and Assistant generates recommendations for your time on the road like music or podcasts to help pass the time.

Assistant Driving Mode is a redesigned dashboard that brings navigation, messaging, calls, and your media players all front and center. It’ll be most useful if you’ve got your handset positioned in a dashboard dock, but that’s not required to use Assistant Driving Mode.

For cars that support it, Assistant will also have new options to remotely control features inside the vehicle. Users will be able to check fuel levels, make sure doors are locked and issue commands to perform tasks like adjusting the air conditioning. The feature will be available in the coming months through Hyundai’s Blue Link and Mercedes-Benz’s Mercedes Me Connect.

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