Google Assistant already helps us out when we’re using the Maps app without taking over our screen or taking our eyes off the road, and now Google is bringing its AI chatbot to Waze too.
Rolling out to Android phones beginning today, Google Assistant will be fully integrated into Waze so users won’t have to tap on their screens to get things done. Many of Waze’s most popular features will be supported, such as reporting traffic jams, calling out potholes, and checking for alternate routes.
When in the Waze app, all you’ll need to do is say, “Hey Google, report traffic” or “Hey Google, avoid tolls” to summon Google Assistant. Waze also uses Google’s new low-profile Assistant interface, so turn-by-turn directions won’t be obstructed.
Google will also be launching a new Assistant Driving Mode this summer to replace the standalone Android Auto app. Part of the next-generation Assistant that was revealed at I/O, Driving Mode is “the next evolution of our mobile driving experience,” with a refreshed interface that brings common activities like navigation, messaging, calling and media to the forefront and further eliminates that need to look at the screen. Assistant will collect suggestions that might be relevant to your drive—including music or podcasts you were recently listening to—and will be more prominent in the car, even telling you who’s calling and asking if you want to answer.
The new Waze update is rolling out to all Android phones that support Google Assistant. Google hasn’t said whether the feature will be making its way to iOS devices, but it’s unlikely given Apple’s tight control over apps.