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cars

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The electric Volvo Polestar 2 is official, making it the first car with Android Automotive on board

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.

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Nissan adds Android Auto support to six 2019 models, including Sentra and Versa

Android Auto is available on over 500 new cars and head units these days, and the list of supported vehicles is constantly growing. Building on the six 2018 Nissan models that Android Auto support was added for last year, another six 2019 model-year Nissans have been added, including some of the brand's most popular nameplates.

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Kenwood introduces three Android Auto head units for 2019, topping out at $1,600

Android Auto hasn't changed much since last year, which means that the revised double-DIN head unit models being revealed by car electronics companies this year won't be all that interesting. Case in point: Kenwood's three new Android Auto head units, which are being revealed at CES, are pretty uninteresting. One thing, however, is rather intriguing: the flagship model's stunning $1,599.95 MSRP.

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Volvo's electric Polestar 2 will be the first car to feature Android Automotive

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.

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[Update: Supported models] Jaguar and Land Rover confirm 2019 vehicles will get Android Auto

Most automakers moved surprisingly fast to adopt Android Auto (and CarPlay) over the last couple years. That's in spite of the fact that Android Auto makes it harder to sell spendy navigation-enabled infotainment upgrades. Still, it's taken some longer than others to come around. Toyota is expected to roll out Android Auto next year, and now we have confirmation that both Jaguar and Land Rover will follow suit.

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Google Maps is making it easier to find electric vehicle charging stations

Electric vehicles still make up a relatively small portion of cars on the road, and places to refuel them aren't nearly as ubiquitous as gas stations. Google is taking steps to make living an EV lifestyle a little less of a pain, adding new information about charging stations to Google Maps starting this week.

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Waze Carpool expands to the entire US

We've all been stuck in traffic from time to time, and you might have noticed something interesting. Almost all the cars clogging the roads carry a single person, which seems like a terrible waste, right? Waze Carpool aims to change that by making it easier to catch a lift in the morning. After trialing Carpool in a few cities, Waze is now rolling it out across the US.

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Toyota reportedly agrees to support Android Auto

Toyota is one of the few car major manufacturers that have refused to add support for Android Auto, along with BMW, MINI, and Lexus. However, that might finally be changing. According to Bloomberg, Toyota has reached an agreement with Google that may be officially announced as soon as October.

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Chris is a hands-free digital assistant for drivers, with voice and gesture controls

IFA 2018 may be over, but there are still some interesting tidbits of news worth mentioning. One of the stands we visited briefly in Berlin last week was that of German Autolabs to see an interesting new product. It may resemble a Nest Thermostat, but Chris is actually a digital assistant for your car.

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InBrief
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Android Auto comes to South Korea with support for popular local apps