Google recently unveiled new updates for the Android Auto and the new Android Automotive OS, which unlike the former is the company’s customizable operating system for in-vehicle hardware. It allows users to download apps from Play Store and control the vehicle’s infotainment system with Google Assistant, without having to connect an Android device to the console. Google has been working with a few automakers to embed this native OS and finally, it is Volvo’s new Polestar 2 – company’s first all-electric vehicle – that will officially launch with the Android Automotive operating system.
Polestar 2 will be the first vehicle to market with Google’s new OS variant actually running on the car’s own system, providing better integration through the Assistant and giving access to Google’s native services like Google Maps and Play Store. You don’t have to connect the phone to the car’s infotainment system, instead, the car’s 11.15-inch display runs the operating system and lets you interact with all the features such as Maps, media apps and the vehicle’s HVAC and other controls through voice commands prefixed with “Hey Google” or touch.
The OS is basically Android but has been customized by Volvo to its own liking. With initiating a command to Google Assistant starting with Hey Google, you can get the car to do pretty much everything from answering your questions to playing music through a downloaded music app (Spotify or YouTube). From adjusting the vehicle’s temperature, locating the nearest charging station to routing you to the right destination using Google Maps.
Interestingly, the Polestar also has a very quirky 12.3-inch display for the driver – that mirrors the central tablet-like touchscreen display and keeps the driver in sync with speed, range, and electric car’s battery info. The primary display, thanks for the software, features a home screen with four apps (customizable to user requirement). On top of the home screen are four icons for 360-degree camera, apps view, user profile, and vehicle settings. At the bottom of the screen is the climate control icon.
Over and above the goodness of everything that you could do with Android Auto using your phone; the Android Automotive OS also comes to the Polestar 2 with three years of AT&T service and convenience to download OTA updates. The Polestar 2 is available for order now for a starting price of $59,900.