Unlike Android Auto, there's no need to download or install Google Assistant driving mode from the Play Store, as it's a standard feature on Android 12 and later. A device automatically enters driving mode when you start navigating on Google Maps. While Google Assistant's driving mode may not be the perfect substitute for Android Auto, it can certainly be an option for you if you need a simple user interface that works for driving. Google Assistant's driving mode is, in essence, a modified user interface that presents vital applications and functions in an easier to access way.
This in-car experience, called Google Assistant Driving Mode, was created to be launched with a simple voice command and then do much of what Android Auto could do. The first option, when navigating on Google Maps, is one that I recommend activating if you discover that Google Assistant's driving mode works for you. Personally, I had never considered launching the Assistant driving mode and simply using Google Maps when necessary during car trips. More specifically, November 21 is the last day, according to 9to5Google, which received confirmation from Google.
With the exception of Google Maps, all the apps you see in the app drawer open in a simplified, driving-friendly version. Because driving mode is run by Google Assistant, you'll find it in the Assistant settings, rather than on the device's configuration page. At some point you'll be asked when you're on Google Maps, and you'll be asked if you want to add driving mode to your home screen. For those who actually adopted Google Assistant's driving mode, I have bad news: Driving mode will be turned off in November.
You can even use Google Assistant by saying the keywords: “Hello, Google”, or by clicking the Assistant icon at the bottom. Without Assistant driving mode and Android Auto for phones, Google Maps driving mode will now be the only option for those who need a driving experience with a phone. When you start a navigation session, Google Maps has its own “driving mode”, which shows you step-by-step directions and also offers shortcuts to Google Assistant and an application drawer.