Android Auto was designed from the very beginning to offer a seamless experience to everybody out there, so the only thing you need to do is connect your mobile phone to a compatible head unit and the app should then automatically launch and run on your screen.
On the other hand, not everybody is a big fan of this automatic system, and some people, for example, wanted Google to prevent apps like Google Maps from running when Android Auto starts.
Opinions are still divided as to whether apps should run automatically when Android Auto launches, so Google decided to go the obvious way and introduce new options that put users in full control over the whole thing.
In other words, Android Auto will soon allow users themselves to decide if they want any apps to launch automatically or not when the phone is connected to the head unit, therefore addressing this entire debate in the most effective manner.
The company, however, hasn’t provided an ETA as to when this feature is supposed to go live, but it should all happen in an Android Auto update coming rather sooner than later. So if you enabled automatic updates in the Google Play Store, you should get the update as soon as it’s released.
In the meantime, there’s not much you can do to prevent apps from running automatically, though some users who were annoyed with Google Maps showing up on the screen every time they launched Android Auto ended up disabling the navigation solution completely.
Indeed, this could be a workaround, though on the other hand, disabling an app means you would no longer be able to launch it manually either. So once Google Maps is disabled on your Android phone, it’s gone completely until you re-enable it, but if you rely on Waze or a different app for navigation, such a solution could eventually make sense.