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Google Assistant is getting a hands-free ‘driving mode’ this summer

Google Assistant is getting a hands-free ‘driving mode’ this summer

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Assistant is also coming to Waze

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Image: Google

Google Assistant is already available in Android Auto and Google Maps, and the search giant announced today at its annual I/O developer conference that Assistant is also coming to Waze. But Google also announced today that Assistant will get its own dedicated “driving mode” starting this summer.

Driving mode on Assistant can be triggered on “any Android phone with the Assistant” by saying “Hey, Google, let’s drive.” That prompt will bring up what the company says is a “thoughtfully designed dashboard” that features driving-relevant activities, top contacts, and more personal recommendations. For example, if you have a restaurant reservation or tickets to a movie, the Google Assistant’s driving mode will surface a shortcut to navigate to that destination. Google Assistant driving mode will also be able to pick up playing any media exactly where you left off (just like the new version of Android Auto).

The Assistant’s new driving mode will help Google bring infotainment-style features to people who don’t have big touchscreens in their cars, essentially completing the company’s push into the space. Android Auto is already available on some 500 newer models from around 50 car brands. Google is about to roll out the first dedicated Android OS in a car in partnership with Volvo. And there are plenty of aftermarket solutions, too.

Assistant integration with Waze (which Google bought in 2013) didn’t get a demo onstage at I/O on Tuesday, but the functionality is exactly what you might imagine. Launching in “just a few weeks,” Assistant on Waze will allow users to report crashes, stopped vehicles, and do other Waze-y things all while only using their voice.