Google did not have the smoothest rollout for its “Driving Mode” function, which the Android Auto experience was supposed to offer on the smartphone. After some contradicting statements from Google, things finally seem to be settled, as driving mode is making its way into Google Maps in more countries. We’ll show you how to find and activate driving mode in Google Maps.
It has been a mess indeed when it comes to Google’s driving mode management. We still remember that Google announced the availability of the driving mode for the USA back in 2019. Even after a lot of fanfare, it was more than a year before they finally introduced it in their home country in late 2020.
Even then it was a bit confusing because this mode, known as “driving mode”, was supposed to bring the functions of Android Auto to the smartphone. On the other hand, Android Auto is viewed as a separate platform, so nothing clear separates the two at this point.
Driving mode assistant: is it coming or not?
At the end of March, Google announced that the driving mode would be released internationally and also introduced as part of Google Maps. We learned that Google is slowing down the international rollout again and is only testing an “Early Access” version in a few countries, while it is only offered in one language – English.
However, this regression did not prevent the “Google Assistant Driving Mode” from showing up to users. Please don’t be surprised if you can’t find it in your settings yet. The driving mode is apparently still being introduced conservatively.
By the way, to complete your confusion: For me, the Google Maps function has arrived in two smartphones, where it disappeared from one of the two phones after a while. Imagine that!
This confusion would most likely reflect Google’s thoughts on the future direction of Android Auto. It doesn’t look like porting Android Auto to smartphone will be that easy, but integrating applications and features like Driving Mode and Google Maps while ensuring that Google Assistant works with you on the internet in the most sensible way and way Way for a consistent experience across the board.
How to find and activate driving mode in Google Maps
Now, if you want to find out if you are already one of the select few who can activate Driving Mode, you have to delve deep into the maze of menus in Google Maps. You will find the function there. On Google’s support page, we learn that the minimum requirements for driving mode are Android 9.0 and a smartphone with at least 4 GB of RAM. In addition, the smartphone must be used in portrait orientation.
Proceed as follows to activate the drive mode:
- Start Google Maps on your smartphone.
- Tap your profile picture in the top right to open the menu.
- Choose The settings.
- Next, choose the Navigation settings.
- If you’ve already received the appropriate update, you can find it now “”Manage driving mode“” under Google Assistant settings.
- in the “Manage driving mode”you can then activate the driving mode function using the slider.
As an alternative to Google Maps, you can also select the function directly via the Google Assistant. In this case, proceed as follows:
- Open the Google Assistant settings.
- Scroll down in Settings to Get around.
- There you will find the item “Auto” at the very bottom, which you tap and then land in the same menu that you see in the above right screenshot.
Incidentally, on the link to the support page given above, Google also described a way to activate the driving mode function, but mentions the “Transport” menu item, which is not yet included in the Google Assistant settings. Much more about the consistency of Google. But at least they suggest such a function on the page.
As soon as the function is activated, you can control various settings in your car simply by speaking. For example, you can place a call using the Place a Call or Call command [contact]”Send messages with” Send a message to [contact]”or” Send Message “to send messages, or” Play ” [Artist]”or” play [Genre]”to hear your favorite music.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve already found the feature in Google Maps on your device and whether or not it works for you. I would also be interested to hear what you think about Google dragging its feet over the driving mode issue.