For many, the hardest part of having an electric vehicle is route planning on longer trips. In-range drives aren't really an issue, but if you have to stop to charge, it can be a bit of a hassle estimating when and where to do it, and it gets more complicated the longer the trip is. A conservative estimate just wastes time, which is already at a premium with you having to wait at each pit stop to top up. But for EVs with Google Maps built-in, like the recent Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge, it's less of an issue thanks to some new tweaks rolling out now. Read More
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
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
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