Starting with Android Auto, electric vehicles will have much deeper integration with Google Maps when you’re navigating. Google Maps will know your current state of charge, predict a state of charge level for your destination, suggest charging stops along the way for the most efficient route and even tell you how long each charge stop will take depending on your vehicle. That’s a level of integration we haven’t seen before from using Android Auto in an EV and should make route planning a much more streamlined process. Of course, the caveat here is that Google will need to work with the manufacturers to have access to the kind of vehicle data required to make such a holistic EV navigation system work without hiccups. Google says that the feature will be rolling out to both the Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning “in the coming months, with others to follow.” We’ll be impatiently waiting to try it out.
As for Google Built-In news, Google says that as of today, you’ll be able to send a trip that you’ve planned on your phone to your car via the Google Maps app. Despite Google Maps being the native navigation system for many cars these days, it’s still easier to plan a multi-destination route on your phone than tapping through the motions on the car’s screen, but should no longer be an issue with this update.
Additional apps are coming online in the Google Play Store that you can download to your car, too. Volvo and Polestar cars will be able to download the Google Chrome browser later this year so you can browse the web directly from your infotainment system. Both PBS Kids and Crunchyroll are being added for your streaming convenience (while charging or parked), and The Weather Channel app is available, too.
That’s all Google revealed today, but it also hinted that Digital car key support will be expanding support to more vehicles and more Android phones in the future. Plus, it says even more OEMs will continue to launch infotainment systems with Google Built-In.