Google Maps‘ “Driving Mode” feature on Android might be discontinued in February 2024. This information is based on code strings found in the latest version of the Google Maps app (v14.52), which suggest that the Driving Mode optimized user interface is set to be removed from the Android app. The Driving Mode in Google Maps is activated after starting navigation and appears as a black bar at the bottom of the vehicle’s display, providing quick access to Google Assistant, Google Maps, and a launcher for compatible music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other streaming apps.
This potential discontinuation follows the removal of the “Assistant Driving Mode Dashboard” in 2022, which offered a home screen with a map, media suggestions, audio controls, and calling and texting functions. The Assistant Driving Mode Dashboard was intended to replace Android Auto for phone screens, but it was not well-received by users.
With the possible phase-out of the Driving Mode feature, Google Maps users may have to rely more on the standard Google Maps navigation mode. The deprecation strings found in the app are not yet live, indicating that this change is still in the planning stage and has not been officially implemented yet.