When you're running late to an appointment, or even just driving around town with several stops planned, the last thing you should do is reach for your phone to look up an address. When Android Auto was announced, this seemed to be the type of problem Google was trying to solve. An imperfect solution existed through Google Assistant, but it was removed without a good alternative to replace it. But things are looking up because Google is launching a calendar on Android Auto that gives you quick and easy access to your itinerary.
The new calendar "app" will be able to show events from a user's personal calendars and provide one-touch access to navigation or dialing a phone number if either are available. It looks like a simple interface without any frills, and so far there doesn't appear to be a way to add an appointment to your calendar, but some of these things might be available through voice commands.
Google will be rolling out the calendar functionality over the next month to devices running Android 6.0 and above. The announcement and images didn't reveal exactly how the calendar is accessible aside from the app launcher, or if there will be reminders or similar features for upcoming appointments, but we'll likely see for ourselves soon.
Also coming to Android Auto will be a settings page that finally gives users the ability to make a few changes through the in-car interface rather than picking up a phone to do it. Right now it appears this will encompass five settings, and include another touch target to open the settings page on the phone to adjust any others. This may sound limiting, but these are likely to be the only toggles somebody would want to turn on or off while in the car.
Not all Android Auto users will benefit from these changes, but calendar access will substantially improve the experience for countless drivers. Slightly easier access to switching notifications on or off will be useful in the right situations too (e.g. your passengers have gone to sleep).