Google Maps Update on Android Auto Finally Gets Navigation Directions Right

Google Maps has recently received a subtle tweak on Android Auto, though there’s a chance many people might even notice the change when firing up the navigation app.
Google Maps now aligns navigation directions to the right in RHD cars 6 photos
Photo: reddit user DramaticNoises
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First and foremost, some context. When running in a right-hand drive car, Android Auto can adapt its interface accordingly, moving the navigation buttons to the right side of the screen and switching the split-screen mode (if available) to display the large pane closer to the driver.

This approach obviously makes perfect sense, as the person behind the wheel needs to be able to interact with Android Auto as conveniently as possible.

Google Maps, which right now is one of the top navigation apps out there, wasn’t entirely prepared for a right-hand drive experience, as its user interface barely adapted to this setup.

In other words, all elements on the screen were nearly in the same place as in a standard left-hand drive car, which obviously makes some information harder to read.

The navigation directions, for example, have long been aligned to the left, which is something that makes sense in a left-hand drive vehicle where they must be as close to the driver as possible.

But as it turns out, Google has recently further polished the UI of Google Maps on Android Auto to make more sense in an RHD car, now displaying navigation directions to the right of the screen in a position that’s easier to read by the person behind the wheel. So the whole thing finally looks correctly in an RHD vehicle, and without a doubt, it'd be easy for a driver to not even notice the interface update given everything just feels as natural as possible.

In theory, the new UI should be automatically activated once Android Auto too switches to an RHD mode, but as reddit user DramaticNoises, who discovered the Google Maps update, explains, everything is finally being displayed correctly in a car having the steering wheel on the right.

It’s not yet clear if everybody else with an RHD car received the update or the whole thing is rolling out in stages for the time being, but it should take too long before the changes are live for all users.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

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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