The Polestar 2 EV Now Runs the Vivaldi Web Browser in the Vehicle's Infotainment System
【Summary】Volvo's electric-performance brand Polestar has released a full-scale Vivaldi web browser for the Polestar 2 EV. Drivers and passengers will have access to the same powerful web browser features as the desktop and mobile versions right from the vehicle’s infotainment screen.
Electric-performance brand Polestar has released a full-scale Vivaldi web browser for fully-electric Polestar 2. Drivers and passengers will have access to the same powerful web browser features as the desktop and mobile versions right from the vehicle's infotainment screen.
The Vivaldi browser runs on Android Automotive OS and is the first web browser available for Google's new Android Automotive OS, which also made its debut in the Polestar 2.
"It's great that we could answer our owner community's desire for a browser with Vivaldi as a Christmas present," comments Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. "Now there is a whole new world of web content you can explore in Polestar 2 – even some of your favorite streaming platforms."
The in-vehicle version of Vivaldi was developed for Polestar 2 by its team in Norway. In addition to being a full-scale web browser, the Vivaldi app brings extensive browser functionality to the Polestar 2's 11-inch center display running Android Automotive OS.
The Vivald browser works like the mobile version and supports features such as tabbed browsing, online shopping and the ability to stream multimedia content from popular websites.
The Vivaldi browser also features a built-in ad blocker, translation tool, notes function, tracking protection, and encrypted sync functionality between the smartphone and the desktop versions.
"We are really proud to introduce our browser to a car for the first time, and specifically with a brand like Polestar," said Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, CEO at Vivaldi. "Our technological and sustainability ambitions are well aligned. We value transparency, privacy and responsible innovation – including the fact that we have our servers in Iceland, one of Polestar's newest markets."
The Vivaldi browser for Polestar 2 is now available in all European, North American and certain Asia Pacific markets.
There are some caveats for using the Vivaldi web browser in Polestar 2. For one, files cannot be downloaded and the browser can only be used when the vehicle is parked for added safety. Streaming video content is also disrupted if the vehicle is put in motion. However, the accomining audio will continue to stream once the vehicle is put in drive.
Polestar says that integrated voice control for the Vivaldi app is being explored for a future release.
For those with privacy concerns, Polestar says that private browsing data is not stored by the vehicle, nor is it ever shared with Polestar.
The cross-platform Vivaldi web browser was developed by Vivaldi Technologies, a company founded by Tatsuki Tomita and Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, who was the co-founder and CEO of Opera Software, a company that introduced the Opera web browser back in 1995.
Vivaldi Technologies is an employee-owned company that believes in putting its users first with robust privacy features bundled with a fully customizable Vivaldi web browser. The company is headquartered in Oslo, with offices in Reykjavik, Boston and Palo Alto.
Polestar is operated by Volvo Cars and its parent company Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co (Geely). Volvo launched its electric brand Polestar in 2017. Polestar unveiled its first model, the limited production, flagship luxury-hybrid Polestar 1 in Oct 2017. In Feb 2019, Polestar revealed the Polestar 2.
The Polestar 2 was the company's first mass-market EV and the world's first consumer vehicle to come with Android Automotive OS built-in. It allows access to popular Google apps such as Maps, Google Assistant and Play Music without having to sync a smartphone. It also allows developers to build custom apps for the Polestar 2 just as easily as apps for smartphones.
Polestar owners can also visit the Google Play store and download additional apps to customize their vehicles.
In June, Polestar announced its third vehicle will be an electric-performance SUV called the Polestar 3, which will compete with the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mach-E and other electric SUVs.
The forthcoming Polestar 3 will be manufactured by Volvo Cars at its factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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