How to Use Driving View in Google Assistant
If you didn’t get the memo, Google has replaced the Android Auto app with the Google Assistant driving mode. As long as you have a reasonably up-to-date Android smartphone, you can use Driving Mode in Google Assistant, and you don’t need to download it through the Play Store like Android Auto.
If you’re unfamiliar with Driving View in Google Assistant, keep reading to learn how to use it.
What is Google Assistant Driving Mode?
Google Assistant Driving Mode was first announced at Google I/O 2019 and launched internationally in 2021. According to Google, if you want to use Driving Mode in Google Assistant, you must have a a smartphone with 4 GB of RAM installed with Android 9.0 version and higher.
Unlike Android Auto, which needs to be compatible with specific cars and stereos, Google Assistant’s driving mode can work with any vehicle. This is because you don’t need to mirror your smartphone display to your vehicle’s infotainment screen if you’re using Driving Mode in Google Assistant. However, you can enable this option if you wish.
Another advantage of Driving Mode is that you can control the interface using voice commands; this helps to avoid distracted driving. Even if you receive an incoming text or call, Google Assistant can read it for you without disturbing the navigation screen.
Of course, you can also access media apps like YouTube, Spotify, VLC, and Google Podcasts when using the Google Assistant driving mode. But compared to Android Auto, Google Assistant’s driving mode apps are fewer (less cluttered) with larger maps, so you’re not easily distracted. Driving View is just one of many Google Assistant features worth exploring.
If you want to access Driving View in Google Assistant, there are a few ways you can do it. Let’s take a look at three of them.
How to start driving mode using a voice command
You can enable driving mode in Google Assistant via voice command. Here’s what you need to do.
- Open the Google Assistant app on your Android phone.
- Say “Ok Google, let’s go”. You can also say “Hey Google, start driving mode”.
- Once you have accessed the driving mode in Google Assistant, you can go to the app section and tap on the shortcut icon. You must read Add driving mode to home screen.
- After setting it up, you’ll be able to access Driving View in Google Assistant right from your home screen.
How to start driving mode automatically
You can also set the driving mode to start as soon as you connect your phone to your car’s Bluetooth system or when you start driving.
- Open the Google Assistant app on your Android phone.
- Say “Hey Google, take me to Assistant settings”.
- You can also open your phone settings, scroll down and select Google.
- Then choose the Google app settings and touch Search, assistant and voice to find Google Assistant settings.
- Scroll down and tap Transportation and choose the Driving mode option at the bottom of your screen.
- If you want the Driving View to start automatically, you can select Launch driving mode below When connected to your car’s Bluetooth. Also you can choose the Ask before you start option under When driving is detected.
Additionally, Driving Mode settings allow you to allow or ignore incoming calls and SMS notifications while driving.
How to launch driving mode via Google Maps
Your third option for using Driving View is if you’re browsing Google Maps. You need to enable this feature first.
- In Google Maps, go to Settings > Navigation Settings > Google Assistant Settings and activate When navigating in Google Maps.
- Open Google Maps and enter your destination in the search field.
- Press the Begin the Google Assistant navigation option and driving mode will launch.
How to Use Google Assistant Driving Mode
When you launch the Google Assistant driving mode, you’ll notice it has three icons at the bottom of the screen. If you want to initiate a voice command, you can tap the microphone icon at the bottom left. The icon in 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 the Driving View.
Since the goal of the app is to avoid distracted driving, it has a minimalist user interface. More succinctly, the applications supported in driving mode are limited to calls, messages, Google Maps and media (Spotify, VLC, YouTube Music, Podcasts, etc.). This means you can’t access all of your favorite apps while using the interface, but you can still exit driving mode to access any app on your Android smartphone.
If you want to make a phone call, 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 (your favorite song) on Spotify”. Basically, you can control everything in Google Assistant driving mode via voice commands without letting go of the steering wheel. If it doesn’t answer automatically, you can always tap the microphone icon.
Once you are done driving, you can exit driving mode by tapping the vehicle icon in the top right of your screen.
Here’s how you can learn how to set up Google Assistant on Android and iOS.
Google Assistant’s driving mode is here to stay
We’ve used Driving View in Google Assistant, and we think it’s very easy to navigate when you’re behind the wheel. Plus, the fact that you don’t need to mirror it on your car’s infotainment screen makes it even more convenient, especially if you’re driving a vehicle that’s not compatible with Android Auto.
Not to mention, Google ditched Android Auto for phone screens and replaced it with Google Assistant’s driving mode. The sooner you learn how to use it, the easier it will be for you.