Updates to Android Auto will help electric vehicle (EV) owners plan their journey and ensure they don’t run out of charge.

    Google announced at CES 2024 it’s rolling out new Google Maps functionality that will see the app recommend charging stops and display an estimate of how much battery charge will be left by the end of a trip.

    In the coming months the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150 Lightning will offer this new capability before Google expands it to more vehicles in the future.

    The Google Maps update will also provide drivers with an estimated charging time based on the vehicle’s charging capabilities.

    Google has also announced other updates not exclusive to EV owners.

    Android and iOS users will also now be able to send a Google Maps route from their mobile device straight to their car, eliminating the need to fiddle around with the infotainment system on multi-stop trips.

    Polestar and Volvo vehicles that run on Android Auto will receive access to new apps including Google Chrome (in beta testing), The Weather Channel and kids channels like PBS KIDS and Crunchyroll. It’s unclear if the children’s entertainment will be available worldwide or just for the United States.

    Drivers who wish to stay up-to-date with weather conditions will now be able to access hourly forecasts, alerts and “Trip View” radar from the infotainment system.

    Google previously announced its plans to integrate The Weather Channel in September 2023 but the feature has only been made available now.

    It will expand its digital car key to select Volvo cars, and Android for Cars director of product and user experience Guemmy Kim says the feature will be expanded to more phone and car brands in the future.

    Google’s digital car key will be able to unlock, lock and start a car using a compatible Android phone. It can share the key securely with friends and family on iOS and Android mobile devices.

    The tech giant previously announced its digital car key functionality for BMW drivers in several European countries.

    It later expanded to select Hyundai, Genesis and Kia models in the U.S., Canada and Korea for drivers with compatible Pixel and Samsung devices like the Pixel 7 Pro and Samsung S23+.

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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