The GPS Nightmare on Android Auto Continues with No Fix in Sight

While for some the Android Auto experience is just flawless, for others it’s a real nightmare, as apps keep crashing, phones are disconnected at random times, and navigation apps fail to locate them on the map.
Google Maps on Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: Google
And more recently, users have come across another problem that’s related to the GPS connection when Android Auto is running on the car’s screen.

More specifically, it looks like the GPS signal is lost every now and then, something that makes navigation apps pretty much useless because they can no longer determine the vehicle’s location and provide directions.

The issue appears to be more or less limited to Samsung devices, and users who turned to Google’s forums to report this behavior explain that the GPS signal is locked until the Android Auto connection is initiated. Some say the bug occurs when a phone call is made from Android Auto.

When I make a call, the pointer on the map freezes and I guess I lose GPS signal until I drop off the call. I have messed with the battery optimization settings and tried other suggestions to no avail,” someone explains.

Navigation works just fine when I am on a call and not connected to the car, so I know it is an Android Auto issue. I know it is not a problem with my car (Vauxhall Insignia 2018) because I used an iPhone 7 Plus until less than 2 months ago, and I had no issue with it.

The generic workarounds, which include reinstalling Android Auto, clearing the cache and data, or trying out other cables don’t make any difference. The latest updates for Android Auto haven’t improved the GPS connection either, it seems.

And at this point, Google is yet to acknowledge these problems, so for the time being, users who encounter this problem have no other option than to try to find a workaround on their own.
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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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