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Polestar is Offering New Android R Infotainment Software as an OTA Update With Enhanced Features for the Polestar 2 EV

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【Summary】Volvo’s new electric brand Polestar announced that Polestar 2 EV​ owners can now download Android R for the vehicle’s built-in Android Automotive OS infotainment system developed by Google. The latest software update also brings enhanced app and functionality potential for the future updates. The software update will roll out to Polestar 2 owners starting this month.

Eric Walz    Apr 07, 2022 9:00 AM PT
Polestar is Offering New Android R Infotainment Software as an OTA Update With Enhanced Features for the Polestar 2 EV
The Polestar 2 was the world's first vehicle to come with Google's new Android Automotive OS built-in.

Volvo's new electric brand Polestar has announced that Polestar 2 EV owners can now download Android R for the vehicle's built-in Android Automotive OS infotainment system developed by Google. The latest software update also brings enhanced app and functionality potential for the future updates. The new software update will roll out to Polestar 2 owners starting this month.

Among the new features, Android R offers connectivity stability improvements, including Improved radio reception, navigation improvements for GPS and a fix to prevent interruption of vehicle's navigation system when switching user profiles.

Polestar's P2.0 software update is the newest in a series of Over-the-Air (OTA) software releases that will be offered by the automaker. All of the software updates can be downloaded and installed remotely, since the Polestar 2 was designed to be a software-based vehicle. 

Since the Polestar 2's launch, a total of 10 major OTA updates offering around 100 improvements have been issued. It represents an average of one major OTA software release every seven weeks, according to Polestar.

The Polestar 2 EV was the world's first vehicle to come with Google's new Android Automotive OS. It's an embedded version of Android that Google developed specifically for automakers to add to their models. 

Having Android Automotive OS built-in to the Polestar 2 paves the way for far tighter integration between the vehicle systems and Google's software, according to Polestar. It allows driver and passengers access to a full suite of Google and third party apps that Polestar owners can download right to their vehicles without having to sync a smartphone or using Bluetooth. 

The Polestar 2 comes with Google Maps, Assistant, YouTube Music and more. It also allows third party developers to build custom apps for the Polestar 2 just as easily as creating apps for smartphones. Polestar owners have access to an entire suite of available third-party apps that can be downloaded to the vehicle. 

 Recent software updates for the Polestar 2 include various drivetrain optimizations, the ability to schedule preferred charging times, Polestar Digital Key improvements, an eco climate mode to improve range, as well as new software for battery optimization with preconditioning.

Polestar says that more than 90% of all Polestar 2 owners have installed these updates.

"Software technology in our cars should not be much different from how the latest software is pushed out on smartphones in everyday life," says Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath. "With OTA updates, our customers receive constant enhancements without making a trip to a workshop. We're very encouraged by the positive response as seen from the exceptional growth in the number of OTA installations and will continue to deliver ongoing enhancements."

polestar-2-2021-03-min.png

The Polestar 2.

Polestar also made a "performance" software update for eligible Polestar 2 Long Range dual motor versions sold in selected markets from Nov 2021. The performance software upgrade increases power, torque and enhances the driving experience. 

The performance updates increase the output from the dual-motor powertrain to 350 kW, which can propel the Polestar 2 from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds while improving overall responsiveness.

Polestar also plans to offer more in-vehicle apps, beginning with the Journey Log app which launched in February. The app allows Polestar 2 drivers to export their vehicle journey logs, which Polestar says is useful for those who need to claim travel expenses at work. 

The Polestar 2 also runs the Vivaldi Web browser. Drivers and passengers have access to the same powerful web browser features as the desktop and mobile versions right from the Polestar 2's infotainment screen. 

The Vivaldi browser runs on Android Automotive OS and was the first web browser available for Google's new Android Automotive OS.

The in-vehicle version of Vivaldi was developed for the Polestar 2 by the company's 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. 

Polestar said it will also continue to leverage joint collaborations with partners and developers to build new apps for Android Automotive OS.

Polestar's 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 in its class. 

The forthcoming Polestar 3 will be manufactured by Volvo Cars at its factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina. It will also come with Android Automotive OS built-in.

Also this week, car rental company Hertz announced it will purchase up to 65,000 electric vehicles from Polestar over five years to add to its rental fleet. Availability of the Polestar vehicles is expected to begin this Spring in Europe and late 2022 in North America.

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