A couple of months ago, Google started pushing the Assistant Driving Mode as a replacement for Android Auto. Of course, you need to be able to launch it easily before you start driving to avoid further distractions. Users are now seeing an “add driving mode to Home Screen” suggestion which joins other quick ways to be able to launch this mode. It’s a minor update but would be pretty useful for those who don’t have in-car infotainment and would rely on the Google Assistant Driving Mode for their travels.
9 to 5 Google shares that in the past few days, users were seeing a suggestion pill at the bottom of the app grid when they first launch the Google Assistant Driving Mode. Once you tap it, you get to the usual system sheet when launching a shortcut. Once you’ve added it as a homescreen shortcut, you’ll see a white car outline with the Google app logo on the bottom right corner. And when you tap it, of course, it will open the Assistant Driving Mode homescreen experience.
Previously, you could launch Driving Mode several ways. It can automatically start up when you connect to your car’s Bluetooth or when the app detects that the vehicle is moving. You can also launch the mode through voice commands since of course it’s connected to Google Assistant. You can say things like “Hey Google, let’s drive” or “Start Driving Mode”. Now you can just tap on the homescreen shortcut if you prefer that rather than voice commands.
The Driving Mode dashboard has glanceable, tappable cards that will give you access to the apps that you need with minimal distraction. You can do things like see who recently called or texted as well as resume media from apps like Amazon Music, Audible, Spotify, YouTube Music, and other providers. It’s already the primary experience for Android smartphones when driving for certain languages like English (U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, Singapore and U.K.), German, Spanish (Spain, Mexico), French and Italian.
Users who have the Google app beta version 12.47 are seeing the homescreen shortcut option for the Google Assistant Driving Mode. They’ll probably eventually launch it to all users in the stable version.