Google Assistant Driving Mode.

Distracted driving is a huge problem, and smartphones are one of the biggest contributors. Google Maps has a Google Assistant-powered “Driving Mode” that can make it safer. We’ll show you how to launch it easily from the home screen.

Driving Mode is only available for Android devices. It’s a simplified interface with big buttons and it puts Google Assistant into always-listening mode. Essentially, it’s like Android Auto on your smartphone. You can launch it with a voice command, but a home screen shortcut may even be easier.

Before we get started, make sure you’ve opted-in to Driving Mode from the Google settings. Here’s how to enable Driving Mode.

RELATED: How to Use the Assistant Driving Mode in Google Maps

First, we need to navigate somewhere. Open Google Maps on your Android device and find a place to go, then tap “Start” to begin turn-by-turn navigation.

"Start" navigating.

You’ll see a black navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, this is the Driving Mode menu. Tap the grid icon to open the App Launcher.

open the app launcher

Now tap the “Add Driving Mode to Home Screen” floating button.

Tap "Add Driving Mode to Home Screen."

A menu will appear to allow you to add it to the home screen. This will look different depending on the home screen launcher you use. Tap “Add to Home Screen.”

Tap "Add to Home Screen."

The shortcut will be added to your home screen and you can tap it to jump straight to Driving Mode!

Driving Mode shortcut and UI.

That’s it! This is a much more direct way to get to Driving Mode. From here, you can use a handful of handy commands by saying “Hey Google” or tapping the Assistant microphone:

  • Make a call: “Make a call” or “Call [contact].”
  • Answer a call: Assistant will say “Call from [contact]. Do you want to pick it up?”
  • Send a message: “Send a message to [contact]” or “Send a message.”
  • Get your messages: “Read my messages.”
  • Listen to music: “Play [artist],” or “Play [genre].”

RELATED: How to Remember Where You Parked Using the Google Assistant

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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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