A series of user reports from Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners recently put the spotlight on a newfound issue causing random crashes whenever the smartphones are being used in conjunction with the Android Auto platform. The problem doesn't seem to be limited to a specific OS version, car brand, or head unit model, and appears to affect both Pixel 2 models running either Android 8.0 Oreo or the latest Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview.
The issue was brought to light by a Pixel 2 XL owner who has connected the device to a 2017 Ford Focus equipped with Ford SYNC 3. According to the feedback, the smartphone randomly crashes when running applications like Google Play Music and Google Maps in Android Auto mode, and it appears that the only temporary fix discovered so far lies in unplugging and reconnecting the smartphone to the car's infotainment system. Other users have followed suit to share their experience, and have confirmed that the problem is not limited to this particular set of circumstances. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are apparently affected regardless of whether they run Android 8.0 Oreo or the latest developer preview build, and the list of vehicles so far includes brands and models like the 2015 Kia Optima, the 2016 Honda Civic and Chevrolet Camaro 2SS, as well as the 2017 Ford Fusion, Ford F-250, Kia Sorento, Volvo XC90, and Mitsubishi ASX. The problem also appears to occur when connecting the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL to a number of aftermarket head units from manufacturers including Sony, Kenwood, and Pioneer. Also interesting to note is that, according to some user reports, the issue affects only the Pixel 2 models while the original Pixels seem to work as intended.
As for Google's response on the matter, a member of the Android Auto team has acknowledged the original poster's complaint on the company's official product forums and is now asking for bug reports from other users. In other words, the company is currently collecting data in order to determine the cause of the problem and will likely provide a fix soon. Readers who may be affected by the Android Auto bug can head down to the source link below for more information and instructions on how to submit a bug report.