Because smartphone interfaces are often more familiar and easier to use than those built into cars, we find ourselves asking how we ever lived without Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Maybe we’ll soon ask ourselves how we ever lived without Google Assistant in our cars, too.
Although Android Auto previously supported voice commands, the full capabilities of Google Assistant will be added to the mix. Google will roll out Assistant to Android Auto this week in the U.S.
Drivers can use voice commands to activate Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, Google Play Music, WhatsApp, or other features you’d use on your smartphone when not driving. In the near future, drivers will be able to reserve a parking spot with SpotHero or order a drink from Starbucks on the road.
Right now, drivers are expected to pair their phones to their cars to activate Assistant, but that might not be the case forever. Google is working with automakers on integrating the feature directly into cars without the need for a phone.
Nowadays, even the most basic vehicles on the market offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Android Auto is available from more than 40 car brands and 400 different models with more on the way.
BMW, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz offer a feature that allows drivers to use Google Assistant on their phones to remotely lock the doors, adjust the climate, and control other functions on their vehicles. This capability will soon become available on vehicles from Kia and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.