If your car doesn't support Android Auto, you won't be completely out of luck when it comes to safely accessing your contacts, messages, and navigation app of choice moving forward. At their annual I/O conference for 2019, Google announced an upcoming "driving mode" feature for Android smartphones.
Driving mode will be completely hands-free, and it's enabled by saying "Hey Google, let's drive" while on the road. Once the feature has been switched on, your phone's interface will change to something that's much more suited for driving.
#HeyGoogle, let's drive: Coming this summer on @android phones, the Google Assistant’s new driving mode features a thoughtfully designed dashboard with personalized suggestions for navigation, messaging, calling and media. #io19 pic.twitter.com/epJoJdqhX5— Google (@Google) May 7, 2019
You'll see three large buttons at the top -- Navigate, Make a call, and Play (for music) -- as well as large banners in the "Just for you" section that give you information on recently-missed calls, shortcuts to the restaurant you have a reservation for, and more.
Though you'll usually be using Google Assistant and your voice to access all of these options hands-free (by speaking the relevant commands), the driving mode interface is streamlined enough that you could easily tap on various icons to access their functions. Though this still poses a risk of crashing due to distractions, it's certainly much safer and quicker than swiping through various menus to access your phone or navigation apps.