Android Auto got an amazing new feature that no one is talking about

This will help it rival Tesla's advanced infotainment system…

A phone casting video to an Android Auto display
(Image credit: Google)

Without a doubt, one of the best things about Tesla is the car's infotainment system and, specifically, the ability to watch films and browse the web while you're parked up or charging the car's batteries. Now, Google has announced plans for a similar feature in Android Automotive, alongside a big redesign for Android Auto, and we can't wait to try it out.

At the recent Google I/O developer conference, Google showed off plans to make more devices compatible with Google Cast, this included vehicle displays.

This was just a single sentence in the presentation, so we don't have too much information at the moment, but this, in theory, means that once you've parked your car you'll be able to select a film or YouTube video on your phone and cast it to your car's infotainment screen – giving you the ability to watch content on the large display in your vehicle – similar to Tesla.

It looks like this feature will only be coming to Android Automotive for the time being – Google's full car operating system – rather than Android Auto, which is just an app that runs on top of your car's operating system.

We could see this being rolled out to Android Auto in the future though, especially as it has a much larger userbase.

Currently, Android Automotive is limited to Polestar and Volvo cars, one Renault, and one GMC car. Ford and Lincon vehicles will get the advanced Google-based operating system next year.

Nevertheless, this is a very exciting upgrade for drivers, as it means that they're not limited to apps specifically developed for the platform – you don't have to wait for Netflix, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer to develop their individual apps – you can simply cast from your phone.

This gives you a massive library of content to watch in your car. I think I'd start by watching; Cars, the 2006 Pixar film on Disney+; the music video for Cars by Gary Numan on YouTube; and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt again on Netflix, just because I really like that show.

Of course, again, it's worth noting that similar to a Tesla, Android Automotive does require you to be parked in order to watch. That certainly makes sense from a safety point of view.

We're waiting for more information on when this feature will start to roll out, as Google didn't provide any extra information during Google I/O.

As usual with Android Auto and Android Automotive updates, Google usually gradually rolls out new features and will allow access by switching it on remotely. Only time will tell…

In the meantime, you'll just have to watch films on your smartphone or bring a tablet along with you while you charge your car at public charging stations.

What will you watch first when Google Cast lands on Android Auto? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.