When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / News / Google Maps now knows where you’re driving – even if you don’t tell it

Google Maps now knows where you’re driving – even if you don’t tell it

Backseat driving that might actually come in handy

Google already knows plenty about you, but pretty soon it’ll be able to guess where you’re heading when you get in your car – without you needing to tell it first.

Google Maps v9.19 is on the way to Android phones everywhere, and it’s packing a new Driving Mode that spouts useful info like traffic updates and road diversions, sans the annoying turn-by-turn navigation instructions. It’s meant for those journeys you know inside out and wouldn’t normally tap into a sat-nav. 

The predictions are similar to how Google Now suggestions work right now, using the time of day, your current location and previous habits to work out where you’re most likely to be heading. Think you know better than the all-powerful Google? Don’t enable it and you can drive in peace.

The new mode launches through the Maps nav drawer, or from a shortcut on your phone’s home screen. According to Android Police it’s a little tricky to set up right now, but an update should be on the way to fix it.

Maps v9.19 also gets a few helpful tweaks, including a streamlined timeline view to make it easier to see where you’ve been in the past. The mute toggle for turn-by-turn navigation is back on the main screen, too, which should make it easier to find when you’re on the road.

Driving Mode is Android only for now, and Google hasn’t said if it’s coming to iOS any time soon either.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22