Your phone may soon be able to tell when you’re driving and automatically enable Android Auto or Do Not Disturb Mode.

Over 1,200 people lost their lives on Australian roads last year, and while not all of them would be related to use of a mobile device, not using your phone when driving is just good practice. To help you not to be distracted while driving, Google is looking to use the smarts of the new Android Pie update to sense when you’re in a moving vehicle, and automatically offer you either Do Not Disturb or Android Auto modes.

According to a teardown of Google Play Services version 14.3.62, XDA-Developers have found a Driving Mode that taps into the microphones to detect engine sounds, motion sensors and connected Bluetooth devices (like your car Stereo) to determine if you’re in a car.

Obviously there’s always the chance that you’ll be a passenger in a vehicle, and quite within your rights to use your phone so you’ll be happy to know you get a choice of automatically launching it, or being offered the choice.

There will be a setup procedure to enable Driving Mode on Android Pie once it’s live, giving you the choice between Do Not Disturb and Android Auto as well as a couple of different options.

There’s no word on when the feature will go live, but the appearance in Play Services would lead you to believe it’s destined for a fairly broad rollout. We’ll have to wait for Google to flip the switch on this one, but it’s a pretty good idea.

Source: XDA-Developers.
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Philip Clark

Android Auto users who want to do the right thing already have an auto launch on bluetooth connection option. Anyone who doesn’t want to do the right thing can opt out of this, and rightly will if they’re ever a passenger in a car. What’s the point?

jimmy cychowski

Android auto already automatically engages when you set it to with Bluetooth, I have a satnav Bluetooth unit in my toyoya fj cruiser, it’s not Android auto head unit though,but it engages the pixels 2 Android audio application, which is great I loving Android auto 👍 and controlling everything with my voice.

Shaun Daly

I don’t thing this is a bad idea, two cyclist I know off died this year at the hands of P platers on phones in my local area and another was critically injured in seperate incidents. (Two of the three drivers have been charged).

So anything that can reduce these occurances, even if if deemed a little invasive or inconvenient has to be a good thing.


I can`t say i am over Joyed at software taking so much control over everything in our lives , Even in my car the info screen next to the speedo decides i cant scroll through the screens when the car in gear ffs . Mind you i have to take my eyes off the road to look at the stupid display centre stack , because they got rid of simple knobs and buttons that back in the good old days did not use screens and require eyes to see what the fruit is going on , and i could adjust… Read more »

Wayne Moore

This would be a good idea if Android Auto wasn’t so bad. For whatever reason, using Assistant in AA is incredibly hit and miss. Lately it refuses completely to play podcasts and sometimes music.


That’s OK.. Sick of cyclists thinking the road belongs to them. As someone who drives for work.. I miss green lights atleast 10 times a day because of cyclists.. And to top it all their attitude..jusf ride cycles if there are dedicated cycle lanes or just shut up take public transport u cheapos


Well, that’s a crap attitude to other legitimate road users, Shrav. Cycle lane provision in Australia is woefully inadequate so unless more are built your first suggestion is ridiculous. Quite aside from the fact that I see far worse attitudes from car drivers than I ever do from cyclists, and when car drivers get it wrong there’s a very good chance they will kill themselves or someone else.