What you need to know
- Google is bringing its "digital car key" feature to more Android phones and vehicles.
- Google is also making Android Auto more helpful with new features, including the ability for certain apps to be projected onto the car display.
- It will also soon be possible to check on the status and lock or unlock your car from your home using Google Assistant-enabled devices.
Along with announcing new features to improve the multi-device experience for Android and Chrome OS users, Google has also detailed several new features and services that will soon help further enhance the driving experience in every car.
Google is making it easier to use your Android phone as a car key. Google's Pixel and Samsung's best Android phones already allow users to lock, unlock, and start compatible BMW cars. In the coming months, Google plans to make it possible to use your phone as a car key without even having to take it out.
The feature will be limited to phones with Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology. Additionally, you'll be able to securely and remotely share your car key with friends and family. Google says it is working on bringing its digital car keys feature to more Android phones and vehicles later this year.
Google's Android Auto is currently available on 150 million cars across the globe, with most leading automobile brands bringing wireless Android Auto support to their latest vehicles. Connecting your phone to your car with Android Auto is also easier than ever, thanks to Fast Pair.
While Fast Pair support is currently limited to select BMW and Ford cars, it is expected to expand to more cars in the near future. Even if your car doesn't support wireless Android Auto, you can still enjoy the wireless experience using Motorola's new MA1 wireless adapter and other similar accessories.
Starting this summer, Lyft and Kakao Mobility drivers will be able to view and accept rides directly from their car displays. Google is also partnering with MochiMochi, Fuelio, and Pezzi Bezzina to integrate their apps into Android Auto. Once the integration rolls out, you'll be able to track your car's mileage, pay for various car services, and "explore more of the world."
Google is also working with several leading car manufacturers like Polestar, Volvo, and General Motors to integrate Google technology right into car infotainment systems. While these manufacturers have already started shipping cars with Google built-in, more manufacturers are expected to follow suit. With Google Play built-in, you can download navigation, charging, and points of interest apps directly.
Deeper Google integration is also coming to Volvo cars this spring. The integration will enable users to check on and adjust even more car settings just by asking Google — including activating features such as lane keeping assist. Later this year, Google will enable users to access YouTube videos in the car while parked, starting with Volvo cars.
Google's upcoming remote actions feature will make it possible for users to use their voice to lock and unlock, get information such as how much battery they have left, and warm up or cool down your car on Assistant-enabled devices. These features will be coming to select Volvo vehicles this spring, with "more to follow."
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