Google took the CES stage to announce a host of new, versatile functionalities that the Google Assistant will come with. Among these functionalities, Google announced that Android Auto will now come with Google Assistant's functionalities. While many may not have noticed its absence from Android Auto so far, Google Assistant is actually a new addition to the in-car infotainment sub-system, and using the 'OK Google' voice command so far only summoned the standard voice command mechanism of Android Auto.
What this means is that Android Auto will now get Google Assistant's intelligent functionalities, and add a layer of connected services to car equipped with Android Auto. For instance, you can now control your home's air conditioning if it is synced with Google Assistant, right from your car. You will also get an intelligent assistant learning your in-car preferences, and be more adept at providing responses. You can, hence, ask Google Assistant to play a specific playlist from your favourite music streaming app (as long as it's compatible with Android Auto), instead of the mere voice command receiver that was there till now.
On overall terms, however, it remains to be seen if this makes a significant difference in the proficiency of Android Auto-equipped infotainment systems. Future cars are set to be equipped with smart voice assistants capable of a conversational interface, along with internet connectivity to sync with home appliances. With Google Assistant, it remains to be seen if Android Auto gets a jump in functionalities, and in turn, adoption among users.