It’s certainly a little strange that Android Auto hasn’t had the “Ok Google” hands-free voice detection available, especially when you consider how dangerous it is to fiddle with your smartphone while driving. But, it looks like that’s all changing now. While no official announcement has been made yet, it seems that Google is rolling out the hands-free voice detection over the coming weeks.
Join us after the break for details.
A Reddit user that goes by the alias of neo5468 was actually the first to spot the changes. Interestingly, the “Ok Google” hotword isn’t managed inside Android Auto app, but the actual Google app under “Ok Google” detection. There’s a “While driving” feature that reads “Works in Google Maps and Android Auto.”
The hotword certainly isn’t a surprise on Android Auto. In fact, it was originally demoed at Google I/O 2016 earlier this year, but we’ve yet to see any official implementation until now.
Google has yet to make an announcement, if they will at all. But, it seems that with an update to the Android Auto app and some server-side tinkering on Google’s end, a larger group of users will start to see this functionality over the next few days and weeks.
Once you get the functionality, you should be able to start asking hands-free commands after triggering the hotword. Things like “Get directions to LAX” or “open Pandora” should no longer take your attention away from the road.