Google Assistant learns to drive (properly) in expansion to more screens

Jan 10, 2018

Google Assistant’s expansion into the car and devices with dedicated screens will soon allow consumers to interact with the AI in more ways than ever.

While the Google Assistant was technically available in Android Auto prior to today’s announcement, it was limited to its older ‘Google Now’ form. The full rollout will feature more powerful features such as home control and deeper access to third-party services.

Google has been giving some thought about how Assistant in the car could help with daily tasks. While I wouldn’t recommend a daily visit for the sake of your bank account, Google will soon enable drink orders from Starbucks as just one example. The company has also announced parking space reservations through integration with SpotHero.

The update is beginning to rollout to support HMDs now. Users can tell if they’ve been upgraded by whether they see the new Assistant logo (the one with the circles!) when they perform a voice search.

All the new features will also be available via the Android Auto app, if you do not have a compatible HMD in your vehicle.

Alongside the new car functionality, Google is playing catchup to Amazon Alexa with their virtual assistant on dedicated screens. Unlike Amazon, who manufacture their own devices, Google is harnessing the experience of their third-party partners.

Google Assistant devices with displays have been confirmed from Lenovo, JBL, LG, and Sony.

Lenovo Smart Display

JBL Link View

What are your thoughts on Google’s latest Assistant announcements? Let us know in the comments.

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