The Polestar 2 is a very important vehicle. It's the first legitimate EV competitor to Tesla's Model 3, and Polestar's first mass-produced vehicle, both of which are incredible milestones. But we're taking a look at it from the perspective of another huge first: the debut of Google's Android Automotive, an in-car infotainment operating system designed to control everything from navigation and music to your air conditioning and traction control settings. Entrusting Google to build such a platform may sound a bit iffy if you're not familiar with the vehicle space, but if you are, you know automakers have been using Android for years, generally without Google's blessing (and often ludicrously old versions of the platform). Read More
Polestar, the performance-focused subsidiary of Volvo, introduced its latest concept vehicle at this year's Geneva Motor Show. The Polestar Precept is an all-electric sedan designed to showcase the company's "next-generation HMI" (human-machine interface) powered by Android Automotive and the extensive use of sustainable materials in its design.
The Precept name is particularly fitting considering the word's denotation as an example intended to set a standard going forward and the company's plans to move forward with sustainability and innovation as core values. While this particular vehicle may never make it to production, Polestar wants to embody these values in its future products. Read More
Google has been working on the native version of Android for cars, Android Automotive, for years. After Volvo offered us a first look at the operating system on its all-electric Polestar 2 back in May, the car manufacturer is now ready to deploy Automotive to another upcoming EV. The company has announced that the XC40 will run Android, too. Read More
Google has shown off Android Automotive a few times in the last couple of years, but you haven't been able to buy any cars with Google's fully integrated version of Android. That will change soon, but things will kick into high-gear in 2021 thanks to a partnership with GM. This might not be the first time we get to see Android Automotive in a real vehicle, but it could be what pushes it into the mainstream. Read More
Android Automotive as a platform has, technically, existed for years. The problem is that, compared to a smartphone, it takes a long time to design and build a car, so Google's had to wait those years to give the system a proper introduction. After spending some time seeing it demonstrated in the upcoming Polestar 2 (an all-electric vehicle), I think the wait was worth it: this looks legit.
For ages, we've all said the same thing: "All I want is Google Maps on my car's infotainment screen." Android Auto delivered on some of that promise, but the projected app is subject to performance glitches, wonky voice functionality, and can feel like a square peg in a round hole solution for vehicles that clearly weren't designed with touch-first interfaces in mind. Read More
There are a lot of things a software platform needs to succeed, and developer interest is one of the most integral pieces of the puzzle. To help Google's plans for Android Automotive — which brings a full Android OS to cars — the company is gearing up to help interested developers get started at this year's I/O conference. Read More
Volvo has just taken the wraps off of the Polestar 2, an all-electric sedan-crossover thing intended to go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3. The affordable electric car aspect isn't the only talking point of this; it's also the first vehicle with Google's deeply-integrated Android Automotive infotainment system. Read More
Back at I/O '17, Google announced that Volvo and Audi would be the first manufacturers to introduce a standalone, more deeply integrated version of Android Auto. One year later, at I/O '18, Google actually showed off several cars with prototypes of what it now called "Android Automotive." Now that Volvo has revealed that its all-electric Polestar 2 will be the first car with Android Automotive onboard, we finally have a more concrete arrival date for Google's long-awaited infotainment system. Read More
Google's been at work on infiltrating the automotive industry for a long time. It's managed to wedge its foot firmly in the door with Android Auto, which runs on a wide range of in-market cars from popular brands — but that was never the ultimate goal. After all, Android Auto essentially just mirrors features from an Android device to car's infotainment system, it's not Android running on a car. The latter, more desirable implementation is (somewhat confusingly) called Android Automotive. The Mountain View tech giant showed off its ambitions for this platform at I/O 2018. Now, it's clear the hype was justified; Google has announced a partnership with massive carmaking alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to run Android Automotive-powered infotainment systems in millions of cars beginning 2021. Read More
By some measures, Android Auto is a huge success. Google's infotainment system is available in cars from dozens of automakers, and consumers will be using these vehicles for years. That's a lot of people incentivized to use services like Assistant and Maps, but Auto is inherently limited as a projected interface from your phone. The car integration tab in Auto remains barren in virtually all vehicles. Google's solution is to build a version of Android that runs on cars, which it calls Android Automotive. We now have a better idea what that could look like.
I/O 2018 marks the second time Google has partnered with automakers to set up elaborate demos of what Android is like when it's actually running on a car. Read More