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How To Use Driving Mode In Google Assistant (step-by-step)

How To Use Driving Mode In Google Assistant

In case you didn’t get the News, the Android Auto app has been replaced with Google Assistant’s driving mode, all thanks to Google.

As long as you have a reasonably up-to-date Android smartphone, you can use the driving mode in Google Assistant—and you don’t need to download it via the Play Store like Android Auto.

If you’re not familiar with the driving mode in Google Assistant, keep on reading to find out how to use it.

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What is Google Assistant Driving Mode?

Google Assistant driving mode was first announced at the 2019 Google I/O conference and launched internationally in 2021. 

According to Google, if you want to use the driving mode in Google Assistant, you must have a smartphone with 4GB of RAM installed with Android 9.0 version and above.

Unlike Android Auto, which needs to be compatible with specific cars and stereos, Google Assistant driving mode can work with any vehicle.

This is because you don’t need to mirror your smartphone’s display to your vehicle’s infotainment screen if you’re using driving mode in Google Assistant. However, you can activate that option if you want.

Another advantage of driving mode is that you can easily control the interface using voice commands; this will help you avoid distraction while driving. 

Google Assistant can also read out your incoming text message or calls without disrupting the navigation screen.

Also, you can access media apps such as Spotify, YouTube, Google Podcasts, and VLC when using the Google Assistant driving mode. 

However, unlike Android Auto, the apps on Google Assistant driving mode are fewer (more organized) with bigger cards, so you won’t be easily distracted. Driving mode is only one of many features in Google Assistant that you need to try out.

If you want to access driving mode in Google Assistant, there are a few different ways you could go about it. Let’s have a look at three of them.

Launch Driving Mode Using a Voice Command

To enable driving mode in Google Assistant with a voice command, here’s what you have to do.

Step 1: Open the Google Assistant app on your Android phone.

Step 2: Say “Hey Google, let’s drive”. Alternatively, you can say “Hey Google, launch driving mode”.

Step 3: Once you access the driving mode in Google Assistant, simply navigate to the app section and click on the shortcut icon. It should read “Add Driving mode to home screen.”

Step 4: Once you’ve set it up, you can now access driving mode in Google Assistant directly from your device home screen.

Launch Driving Mode Automatically

You can set driving mode to start as soon as you device is connected to your vehicle’s, or when you start driving.

Step 1: Go to the Google Assistant app on your Android phone.

Step 2: Say “Hey Google, take me to Assistant settings”.

Possibly, you can open your phone’s settings, then scroll down and select Google.

Next, select the Settings for Google apps option, and click on Search, Assistant & Voice to find Google Assistant settings.

Step 3: Scroll down and click on Transportation and choose the Driving mode option at the bottom of your screen.

Step 4: You can also select Launch driving mode under When connected to your car’s Bluetooth. This will make driving mode to launch automatically.

Another option is to choose the Ask before launching option under When driving is detected.

Aside from that, the driving mode settings gives you the option to either allow or ignore text notifications and incoming calls and text whenever you’re driving.

Launch Driving Mode Through Google Maps

The third option for you to use driving mode is when navigating in Google Maps. Still, you must first activate this feature.

Open your device Google Maps, then go to Settings > Navigation settings > Google Assistant settings, and turn on When Navigating in Google Maps.

Open Google Maps and enter your destination in the search box.

click on the Start navigation option, and Google Assistant driving mode will start.

How to Use Google Assistant Driving Mode

After launching Google Assistant driving mode, you should be seeing three icons at the bottom of the screen. 

To use a voice command, you can simply click on the microphone icon at the bottom left. 

The icon at the center takes you back to the home screen, and the icon in the bottom right (the four boxes) lets you access the apps available in driving mode.

Since the app’s objective is to avoid distracted driving, it has a minimalist user interface. 

The apps supported on driving mode are limited to messages, Google Maps, calls, and media (YouTube, Spotify, Music, VLC, Podcasts, and lots more). 

It means you can’t access all your favorite apps while you’re using the interface. Still you can always close the driving mode to use any other app on your Android smartphone.

To make a phone call on your device, you can say “Hey Google, I want to make a call”. Similarly, you can say “Hey Google, I want to send a message”, or “Hey Google, play (mention your favorite song) on Spotify”. 

Generally, you can control it all in Google Assistant driving mode with voice commands without removing your hands from the steering wheel. 

You can still click on the microphone icon if it doesn’t respond automatically as expected.

After driving, you can close the driving mode by click on the vehicle icon at the top right side of your device screen.

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Google Assistant Driving Mode isn’t going anytime soon

We’ve tried out the driving mode in Google Assistant, and it’s for a fact easier to navigate when you’re behind the wheel. 

Also, the fact that you don’t need to mirror it to your car’s infotainment display makes it even more convenient, especially if you’re driving a vehicle that is not compatible with Android Auto.

Remember that Google has discontinued Android Auto for phone screens and replaced it with Google Assistant’s driving mode. The quicker you know how to use it, the better you can take advantage of it.

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