The Google Assistant Driving mode that the company first announced in 2019 has started appearing on some Android devices, XDA-Developers reported. The UI looks somewhat different from what Google showed at its I/O developers conference last year. XDA says it first noticed something was coming about two weeks ago, when users reported seeing a new navigation interface in Google Maps.
It’s not clear whether the rollout of this new mode is part of a test or will be coming for all users. Mishaal Rahman at XDA said he saw the new driving mode on a Google Pixel 4, an Asus ZenFone 7 Pro, and an LG Velvet, and he surmises that the new mode will replace the Android Auto app on smartphones. That seems consistent with what Google told The Verge last year.
Whether the new mode will include all the features Google described when it first unveiled the driving mode also isn’t yet clear. It was meant to be available on any Android phone with Assistant, using a “Hey Google, let’s drive” voice prompt that would bring up a dashboard with driving-relevant activities and other personalized recommendations. And it would provide infotainment features to drivers whose vehicles aren’t equipped with touchscreen displays.