Ever since Google acquired Waze back in 2013, features from each have been slowly making their way back and forth between it and Google Maps – and today Waze gets a big upgrade with Google Assistant integration, which means you can use the smart voice companion within the app.
Google Assistant in Waze will provide access to your usual Assistant features, like playback of music and podcasts, but it’ll also offer access to many Waze-specific abilities, including letting you asking it to report traffic conditions, or specifying that you want to avoid tolls when routing to your destination.
Google has done a good job of rolling out support for Assistant in its own Android Auto in-car software, and even brought it to Google Maps on Apple’s competing CarPlay system earlier this year. The benefits of having Assistant work natively within Waze are many, but the number one might be its potential to reduce distractions while on the road.
Waze remains a top choice among drivers, and anecdotally most Uber and Lyft drivers I encounter still swear by its supremacy over the competition, including Google’s other own-branded Maps solution.
Google Assistant will be available via a roll-out starting today in the U.S., in English only to start and on Android smartphones. Expect that availability to expand over time.