Google brings its Chrome browsing experience to electric vehicles alongside native Android apps, as Microsoft partners with Honda for car AI

Android Auto running on an electric car
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • At CES 2024, Google announced that it's shipping its Chrome browser to electric cars coupled with a host of Android apps.
  • Electric cars with Android Auto will be able to share real-time battery information with Google Maps for better navigation, with Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning being listed among the first beneficiaries.
  • It will also be possible to share your planned trip on Google Maps from your mobile phone to vehicles with Google built-in for better planning and navigation.

The automobile industry has been buzzing with lots of activity, with tech companies shifting their focus to vehicles with the aim of making the "smarter and modern." In the past few months, we've seen companies like Microsoft and TomTom partner to bring an AI-powered assistant with a "more sophisticated voice interaction" appeal to the vehicle's infotainment system.

Google has seemingly hopped on the bandwagon, having recently announced major enhancements shipping to the Android Auto experience and Google’s native Android software at CES 2024.

Right off the bat, Google is incorporating a neat feature into Electric Vehicles with Android Auto which will share real-time battery information with Google Maps for better navigation. This feature is already available in cars with Google built-in, but its now shipping to Android Auto users, too.

The company indicated that the feature will first ship to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning in the next few months. It's also expected to ship to more entries as well. 

ALSO READ: Microsoft partners with Sony and Honda for car AI assistance

The feature brings get relief to electric car owners, as it'll now be easier for them to tell whether the charge is enough to take them from one point to another without taking a detour to an EV charging station, or even worse, the battery running out on them in the middle of nowhere.

What's more, the feature will also help the driver to easily identify EV charging stations in case the car is running on a low battery level. The feature will also let you know how long it'll take to charge your vehicle fully based on the model.

RELATED: Microsoft Teams gains support for Android Auto

Google also indicates that it'll now be easier to plan for a trip and navigate through the designated route using cars with Google built-in. The feature started rolling out to users on January 9, 2023. As such, it's possible to send your predetermined trip from Google Maps on Android or iOS to your vehicle's Google built-in system.

More than just navigation, it's fun-filled with apps too

Aside from making navigation easier for drivers, Google intends to overhaul the driving experience for cars with Google built-in entirely with new, informative, and entertaining apps. Additionally, users will be able to check the weather forecast for the route and destination via the Weather Channel app.

Google also started shipping its Chrome to select Polestar and Volvo cars in beta, and is expected to be available in more cars later this year. 

Are you excited to see Google Chrome ship to your car? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.