Today, Google unveiled a range of software updates for Android Auto and vehicles equipped with Google integration. At the forefront, Google says its drivers will now be able to join WebEx or Zoom meetings, a feature it previously announced at I/O 2023. The apps will only work in an audio-only capability, which Google says will make it “easy and safe” for drivers to quickly join scheduled meetings from car displays.
Beyond enhancing productivity, Google is also attempting to expand its audio and visual entertainment offerings with its rollout of Prime Video on the Google Play app. This feature, which will appear on the display for “parked entertainment,” will only be available for select vehicles — namely Renault, Polestar and Volvo Cars. Eventually, Google says this will appear in other brands. In addition to streaming, Chrome-based internet browsing will be available starting today. Internet browsing is already available in some cars on Google Play through the standalone app, Vivaldi.
While keeping drivers productive and entertained, Google is also expanding the functionality of the display by making the Weather Channel app available for hourly forecasts, and a follow-me alert safety feature that allows third parties to track your vehicle. A “Trip View” radar will also display live maps — mainly for severe weather events.
Lastly, Google’s digital car key — which allows drivers to use their phones to lock and unlock their vehicles — will finally be available in select Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia models in the US and Canada for those with compatible Pixel and Samsung devices. The tech will also allow drivers to share digital keys with family and friends wirelessly. Digital keys will have already been available in several European countries.