Polestar 2 Electric Car Plans to Offer 'Truly Future-Proof Software Setup'

Polestar, the electric car brand that’s part of the Volvo Car Group, wants to make in-car interfaces great again. On Wednesday, the company released more details about Polestar 2, its first all-electric vehicle set to enter production next year, declaring it will be “the first car in the world with a truly future-proof software setup.”

In a wide-ranging description of the software, Polestar explains that the car will come with an “Android-based that’s always connected to the internet and receives over-the-air updates just like your smartphone.” The system will come bundled with “apps, services, and technologies that people already use every day on their smartphones,” including Google Maps, that are “designed and adapted specifically for an in-vehicle experience.” The car will also offer an embedded Google Assistant that supports car-based actions like changing the temperature. If these apps aren’t to the driver’s liking, the system will also support the Google Play Store.

Polestar's mapping system in action.
Polestar's mapping system in action.

If it comes to fruition, it would represent a key break from the approach of many automakers, which have traditionally featured in-car touchscreens with complex layouts and confusing menus. Apple and Google aimed to rectify this with CarPlay and Android Auto respectively, but it involves linking up a smartphone. Tesla develops its own in-car software that covers a number of functions offered by other setups, but it’s not open to third-party developers.

The in-car controls in action.
The in-car controls in action.

The car won’t use stock Android. The system will use a four-tile grid system, with customizable app groupings, plus large buttons for regular actions. Another screen will show apps accessed most often.

The company has produced an interactive demonstration of the software to give users a feel for how it works in practice:

Polestar's mockup interface.
Polestar's mockup interface.

While the final design will likely use a shape more suited to the in-car screen, it helps to visualize the design direction the firm is taking.

Polestar's interface in action.
Polestar's interface in action.

The Polestar 2 is set for a complete unveiling in the latter half of this year. Specifications are not finalized, but the car is expected to compete with the Tesla Model 3 with four doors, 300 miles of range and 400 horsepower. The firm is aiming for a monthly subscription service instead of the regular ownership model, lasting for two to three years before the customer either returns the car or Polestar switches it out.

With Google powering the Polestar’s internal layout, it seems the firm is set to offer a seamless experience for users.

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Media via Polestar, Nissan