Google Assistant is now available in Android Auto. OK Google voice control was previously included in Android Auto, but that was essentially just voice search and offered the ability to perform a limited number of commands. The CES announcement indicates full Google Assistant integration. That means you will be able to get directions, check your schedule, play music and control smart home devices from your car dashboard.
400 Car Models Get Google Assistant with Android Auto
Scott Huffman, VP Engineering Google Assistant, commented on Android Auto in a blog post outlining the many Google announcements at CES.
Android Auto is available in tens of millions of cars on more than 400 models from 40+ brands, including Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Volkswagen and Volvo. With the Assistant in Android Auto, you can listen to your playlists from apps like Spotify or Google Play Music, get quick directions from Google Maps or Waze, and send or receive messages from services like WhatsApp. And soon, you’ll be able to reserve a parking space with SpotHero or order your favorite handcrafted drink or food from Starbucks.
On Monday, Google Assistant integration was demonstrated with a Pansonic infotainment system. It was unclear whether we were seeing video of a live working system or a canned demo. I suspected at the time it was both functional and driven by Android Auto integration. The new announcement appears to confirm that suspicion.
Google’s Advantages are Adding Up
We have spoken previously about Google’s many assets that will enable it to capture voice assistant market share quickly. Existing multi-lingual voice recognition capabilities, the search knowledge graph and Android phones are all tools to help Google Assistant access to spread quickly. Android Auto is one more asset that instantly distributes Google Assistant to an entirely new set of devices, automobiles. There may be an Alexa everywhere strategy, but will Assistant everywhere happen first?