Google Assistant Driving Mode.

Update: May 8, 2019 at 8:06 a.m. ET: According to 9to5Google, Google will cease to update its previously launched Android Auto car app. The decision arrived soon after the launch of the new Google Assistant driving mode, which Google announced yesterday.

The move will not affect the in-car Android Auto systems, which will roll out a new look later this summer.


Original story: May 7, 2019 at 2:03 p.m. ET: Distracted driving due to smartphones is a big problem around the world, but Google has delivered two handy tools to combat the issue at I/O 2019.

The first big addition is a driving mode in Google Assistant, set to launch this summer for Android phones. The driving mode kicks in when you say “hey Google, let’s drive” or when you connect to your car’s Bluetooth system.

Google Assistant driving mode gives you a better user interface with larger buttons, as well as personalized suggestions. A few examples of the latter include prompts to resume a podcast you previously started, as well as navigating to a restaurant where you’ve got a dinner reservation.

The second driving-related announcement is that Google Assistant will be coming to the Waze navigation app. “Soon you’ll be able to access all the helpfulness of your Assistant and use your favorite Waze features, like reporting crashes or stopped vehicles, hands free,” the company noted on Twitter.

The company didn’t divulge much more information but confirmed that the feature will land in the next few weeks.

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