Volvo’s performance EV brand Polestar unveiled its new Polestar
2 compact sedan on Wednesday.
Polestar 2 is one of the first cars in the world to
feature an infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system.
According to Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, turning to
Google for its infotainment system is an example of his company
avoiding the mistakes other car makers have made by trying to
build a system on their own.
The Polestar 2 is a compact electric sedan designed to
rival Tesla’s hot-selling Model
In the US, the fully loaded Polestar 2 Launched Edition
starts at $63,000.
Swedish automaker Polestar unveiled its new Polestar 2 compact
sedan on Wednesday. It’s the latest offering from Volvo’s new
performance EV brand.
One of the Polestar 2’s most interesting features is an
infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system.
It’s one of the first cars in the world to be equipped with a
system that boasts built-in apps like Google Maps and artificial
intelligence capabilities through Google Assistant.
According to Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, the Android system
will embed traditionally smartphone-bound apps natively into an
infotainment system. As a result, drivers will be able to
effectively access the infotainment system through voice commands
and will no longer need to fiddle with phones.
“I think that will be a very good
step towards driving without distractions,” he said in an
interview with Business Insider.
For Ingenlath, using Google’s infotainment and artificial
intelligence technology is an example of his company avoiding the
mistakes others in the industry have made by trying to build
these systems on their own.
“The traditional car industry made the mistake of thinking you
have to develop and do these things yourself and really failing
because it’s not your core business,” the veteran car designer
turned CEO said. “We realized that this is something where we
need a specialist. Where we need to rely on them doing the best
thing and us simply giving it to our customers.”
The use of Android technology also offers Polestar 2 drivers a
high level of app flexibility.
“Here in Europe, and in the US as well, Google Maps is a great
system to use for navigation but if you like something else, Waze
or whatever, you can use that as an app and it will run
seamlessly just like Google Maps,” Ingenlath said.
capability also allows Polestar to tailor its infotainment system
to the requirements of specific markets such as China where
Google Maps is not available.
The Polestar 2, aimed directly at the Tesla Model 3, has an
expected range of 275 miles and boasts a 78 kWh battery pack. In
the US, a fully-loaded Polestar 2 Launch Edition starts at
$63,000. Production is expected to start in early 2020.