- 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 3.
- 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.
This 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.