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Google is bringing Chrome browser to cars, even more EV features to Maps

Android Auto interface showing EV charging times.
Google

Google is bringing a great combination of features to Android Auto and cars with Google built-in, particularly for those who drive an EV.

Google Maps is adding more EV-centric features for those who use Android Auto from their connected phone. Starting with the Ford F-150 Lightning and Mach-E, you’ll now see information on expected state of charge on arrival to your destination, as well as charging station locations and expected charging times for longer trips. This is a feature that’s been available for EVs running Google built-in (aka Android Automotive), and in my experience, it’s extremely helpful and helps alleviate charging anxiety. It’s wonderful to see this brought to the much wider-reaching Android Auto version of Maps, and I hope it expands to more cars soon.

Google Chrome browser running on Android Automotive in a car.
Google

If you have a car with a Google built-in infotainment system, there’s even more in store for your in-car experience. Google is bringing a full-blown Chrome browser to cars, which will roll out in beta starting with Polestar and Volvo, so you can browse while you’re parked (or more likely, charging) — something that’s been available for a long time and very popular in Teslas. Google’s also expanding its media offerings with PBS Kids and Crunchyroll, and there’s also a new weather experience from The Weather Channel that includes forecasts, alerts, and radar.

Google is also adding a new “send to car” button to the Google Maps app on phones, making it easy to plan out a trip before you leave and have it waiting for you when you get in your car. It’s just yet another feature that makes the Google built-in experience appealing. Google built-in is coming to even more cars soon, with Nissan, Ford and Lincoln launching more models with the software suite in 2024.

Andrew Martonik
Andrew Martonik is the Editor in Chief at Digital Trends, leading a diverse team of authoritative tech journalists.
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