Google Announces a Critical Fix for Android Automotive

Android Automotive in Polestar 2 10 photos
Photo: Polestar
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One of the biggest benefits of having Android Automotive in a car is the deep integration with the vehicle’s systems, as Google’s services can provide drivers with all sorts of new-gen capabilities.
For example, Google Assistant has access to things like the air conditioning system and the heated seats, so with a simple voice command, you can quickly and easily adjust the temperature in the cabin.

At the same time, the digital assistant also powers critical safety features, including the ability to call 911 in case of an emergency.

But as it turns out, a recent glitch prevented the assistant from calling first responders, with Android Automotive-powered cars, therefore, losing a critical safety feature.

Google acknowledged the problem very fast, explaining that a fix is already available as part of a new Google Assistant version.

We understand the vital importance of our users being able to call first responders in case of emergencies. We discovered recently that Assistant-enabled emergency calling stopped working in some vehicles with Google infotainment built in. We have rolled out an immediate fix to resume emergency calling via Google Assistant,” Google said in an announcement this week.

In theory, if the automatic updates have been enabled in your car, the new version of Google Assistant should be downloaded and installed without any input required on your side. On the other hand, it’s important to keep in mind that you can still manually make emergency calls if needed, regardless of the version of the Google app installed on your Android Automotive vehicle.

Google says the build that includes the fix is 13.0.92.RC13, so if you’re running a newer release, you should be good to go. The Google app is the one that powers the assistant experience on phones, tablets, Android Auto, and Android Automotive, so it’s also the one that needs to be updated whenever something goes wrong with the input via voice commands.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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