Assistant Driving lost its integration of Google Maps, and will no longer replace Android Auto as well.
According to 9to5 Google, Driving Mode will no longer serve as Android Auto’s alternative and will instead be a shortcut to Google Maps with larger media controls.
What Is Android Auto
Android Auto is a driving assistance application that launched in 2015 designed to mirror smartphones’ interface on a car’s dashboard through a USB cable, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.
Make Use Of writes that the application can be accessible on the smartphone and controlled through the car’s dashboard touchscreen where it is displayed.
If the vehicle is not compatible with Android Auto, users can opt to install the Android Auto app mode on the vehicle directly, which is similar to the standard Android Auto app.
Android Auto also supports apps installed on a smartphone, including WhatsApp, YouTube, Calendar, Telegram, and even third party navigation apps like Waze, Samsung Maps, and TomTom Go.
However, In 2019, 9to5 Google reported that Google Assistant Driving is available in Google Maps, making assisted driving easier and more accessible and seeing the decline in Android Auto demand.
What is Google Assistant Driving Mode
Google Assistant is a universally supported driving assistance mode, which is activated by a simple voice command to access the navigation option after a location search.
Make Use Of states that Google Assistant Driving Mode, unlike Android Auto, does not need to be projected on the dashboard, which allows drivers to use the interface hands-free.
Google Assistant’s interface also looks less cluttered than Android Auto’s, and was redesigned to take voice commands and instructions without having the users take their hands off the wheels.
Additionally, Google Assistant Driving Mode runs multimedia apps in the background, including Spotify, YouTube Music, VLC, Podcasts, and other options.
However, Assistant Driving Mode is now losing its Google Maps integration because of its late arrival and limited availability in Maps according to 9to5 Google.
Similarly, the Android Auto for Phone Screens app was shut down in June 2022, and could no longer be launched in newer devices as it is no longer suitable for phone displays.
What Happens Now
Despite years of debate on which one between Android Auto and Google Assistant Driving Mode is better since their unveiling a few years ago, Google opted to disintegrate Driving Mode from Maps.
The move by Google to abandon Google Assistant Driving Mode meant that it will also not be replacing Android Auto, but, instead, will see Google Maps as the primary navigation tool.
9to5 Google claims that Google will be directing its users to use the full screen option of Google Maps instead of asking people to download an app extension for car directions.
Google Maps will now work by itself if Driving Mode is launched, and it will even show users an Assistant button where there is an option to play YouTube music, Google Podcasts, and Books on compatible devices.
9to5 Google reports that while Driving Mode is seen as a downgrade from Android Auto because of its more complicated nature, it is still deemed more reliable.
With this development, Google Assistant seems to have been detaching itself from projects that are not based on voice assistant functionality like Snapshot, Look and Talk, and Quick Phrases.