Automotive

Polestar 2 aims to take on the Tesla Model 3 with Android-based UI

Polestar 2 aims to take on the...
The Polestar 2, sized and priced to compete with Tesla's Model 3
The Polestar 2, sized and priced to compete with Tesla's Model 3
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The Polestar 2, sized and priced to compete with Tesla's Model 3
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The Polestar 2, sized and priced to compete with Tesla's Model 3
Polestar will ship this Space Warp game that you can play on your car's touch screen
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Polestar will ship this Space Warp game that you can play on your car's touch screen
Polestar's clean, gridded Android UI
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Polestar's clean, gridded Android UI

Volvo's Tesla-hunting electric offshoot Polestar has opened up a demonstration website for the user interface it plans to run on the upcoming Polestar 2. Based on Android, it'll include the Google Assistant, Google Play Store and whatever apps you like. Plus, it seems to want to be fun, too.

The Polestar 2 will be a small family BEV (battery electric vehicle) targeted fairly directly at Tesla's Model 3 and priced to match, the company's American CEO Greg Hembrough told Inside EVs. Something for the masses, as the company prepares to take on the Model S with its high-end, 600-horsepower Polestar 1.

About the size of a Model 3 or a BMW 3-series, the Polestar 2 will be a 300-mile all-electric 5-door fastback that promises to hit the market with a few unique touches that haven't been seen yet.

Polestar's clean, gridded Android UI
Polestar's clean, gridded Android UI

The user interface is one of them. The Polestar 2 will be the first car to completely surrender its interface to the Android operating system. It'll be a vertically oriented touch screen display that works more or less like your phone, receiving updates regularly and enabling the use of apps downloaded through the Play store.

There are plenty of Android-based aftermarket multimedia units on the market already, of course, but this is the first time a car manufacturer has taken Google's open-source touchscreen OS and built it directly into the car. Presumably there's some sort of protection in place to make sure you don't run a movie on VLC while you're driving.

It you want to have a play with it, click on this link from a mobile phone or tablet. There's nothing particularly controversial in there, just a nice clean grid-based UI with Google Assistant, Google Maps, Calendar and Hangouts built in, as well as changeable car settings for the steering feel, stability control, regen braking and forward creep control.

Polestar will ship this Space Warp game that you can play on your car's touch screen
Polestar will ship this Space Warp game that you can play on your car's touch screen

Oh, and a Space Invaders-like video game, which signals that Polestar intends to take Tesla to the mat on every angle possible, including the whole "cars should be fun" thing. Sorry Polestar, but Teslas can make their indicators sound like farts. We'd advise you not to bring a pocket knife to a flamethrower fight.

Still, we're looking forward to learning more details about the Polestar 2. Apparently your phone will be your key, which is nice. And with Google Assistant handling voice control duties, as well as Google Maps in the navigator seat, results stand to be better than most proprietary systems built by car companies.

Precious little detail has been released on the Polestar 2 as yet, and indeed the car is blanked out in some of the UI screens to preserve its pre-launch modesty. But a swift thumb on the screenshot button let us capture a top-down view out of the introduction to the video game, which you can see at the top. Woo.

Source: Polestar via CarAdvice

3 comments
ChairmanLMAO
Can you put facebook in too, and twitter? Might as well hardcode that. That data is no good to you any ways. You know like, where you been at what time and for how long? Especially since you don't do anything wrong anyways. Yeah, Google is your friend.
Rustin Lee Haase
The life cycle of cars is so much longer than the life cycle of android devices it seems stupid to build too much of a car around android because the system will become geriatric long before the rest of the car does. It is best to keep the car simple but cooperative with gadgetry. Provide lots of power connectors and a bluetooth connection for audio but leave it at that. The car will stay 100% usable for longer.
midas
Couldn't agree more, Sugamari. Things aren't Orwellian enough...let's accelerate the process.