Google is Investigating Google Assistant Lag Problem in Android Auto
Google is looking into reports that Google Assistant is slow to respond on the Android Auto platform. Users have reported on Reddit and other forums that the voice assistant is taking several seconds to respond to commands. The new complaint is the latest of several posted online this summer, likely due to the several major updates made to the platform in the last few months.
The multiple posts from Android Auto users describe Google Assistant being several beats behind the person speaking. For instance, the voice assistant might before cut off someone trying to dictate a text before they finish, requiring the driver to start over. The issue seems limited to Android Auto in cars, as the same users report the voice assistant responds promptly in the smartphone version of the platform. The problems arose when the new Android Auto interface rolled out earlier this year, according to the forum posts. Solving it right now requires a reset to the earlier Google Assistant setup. Google responded on one of its forums to say that “the Assistant team is investigating,” although no timeline or other details as of yet. The company is at least announcing plans to solve the issue more quickly than the year it took Google to announce plans to fix a Bluetooth bug.
The solution to Google Assistant’s lag will likely be part of an update for the voice assistant, but Android Auto is getting some major new features of its own soon. The updates will add a new calendar interface, connected to the navigation and phone apps. It will replace the calendar that was removed from Android Auto in last year’s revision. Drivers will also be able to access the setting of the platform directly, instead of needing to use the phone app to adjust it.
Google will likely be even more keen than usual to squish bugs in Android Auto right now as it gears up to put its sister platform, Android Automotive, into a lot of new cars. Google is working with Groupe PSA, the brand behind a half dozen major European car brands, to integrate Android Automotive Citroën, Peugeot, and other vehicles starting in 2023. The two platforms have some big differences, with Android Automotive a native operating system controlled by Google Assistant as opposed to how Android Auto connects a car to Google Assistant through a smartphone. Volvo has begun adding Android Automotive to the new Polestar 2, and no similar complaints have appeared in the usual forums so far.
The lag and any other bugs may not appear in a different platform, but with each brand getting its own adapted version of Android Automotive, the chances of at least minor bugs are not insignficant. As the competition for the automotive AI sector heats up between Google, Amazon, Cerence, SoundHound, and individual car companies, all of them will be looking to prevent the kind of inconveniences that make people switch to a different car company.