This was without a doubt a helpful improvement, especially because the new approach required less space on the screen, and now it looks like Google’s releasing more tweaks for this UI.
The Google Assistant UI is now slightly moved to the left part of the screen and the words that are displayed in the card show up as you speak and they are recognized. The whole thing happens in real time to provide you with visual feedback, and new animation is also included for this refined UI too, making the interaction with the Assistant feel more polished and modern.
Right now, however, there’s a chance that Google is still experimenting with this new design, as it doesn’t appear to be live for everybody. While for some the new Assistant UI is already available on Android Auto 5.7 with the Google Pixel 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 2, it’s nowhere to be seen on the same version of Android Auto with a Samsung Galaxy Note20 for me.
Most likely, this change is enabled by a server-side switch, and I expect Google to roll out the more polished Assistant UI to all Android Auto users in the coming days.
In the meantime, the Mountain View-based search company is also expected to ship a new Android Auto version, though for now, a specific ETA isn’t yet available. Android Auto 5.8 will bring new fixes for users out there, and it will most likely also include other small changes that will further polish the experience behind the wheel.