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Polestar brings Google Assistant, Maps and the Play Store to its electric cars

Polestar future HMI 003
© Polestar

Swedish EV brand, Polestar, has announced it with further its collaboration with Google to bring Android Auto with Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store built-in as standard on its vehicles.

The Polestar 2 becomes the first vehicle on the market with the full array of Google apps and services onboard. The electric performance car brand is also looking even further into the future and will continue to use Android as a platform to build what it is calling a personalized and contextualized experience.

The company, which is owned by Volvo, says that it will open up new possibilities in the car, beyond the already available adjustment of mirrors, seats, climate and entertainment settings to the driver’s personal preferences. The idea is that the complete vehicle environment is automatically adjusting to the user’s personal preferences and last-used applications.

Intelligent eye-tracking for drivers

Polestar is known for its minimalist approach, and it's a new eye-tracking feature that really caught our attention here. Polestar will implement advanced eye-tracking and proximity sensors that will alter the brightness and content of screens based on conditions and reactions of the driver. Dimmed displays will increase intensity when users glance in their direction, and the approach of a user’s hand will adapt the presented controls. The system will also warn users if they are spending too much time looking at the screen rather than the road ahead. You can see how it works in the video below.

Tailored information will be displayed based on the detected driver profile, enabled by the Polestar Digital Key, when the driver approaches. With the driver’s permission, the system could even proactively offer personalized planning according to driver habits or preferences, or conditions.

Google Assistant will be the default co-pilot while driving delivered through a natural conversational flow that improves over time, rather than from a list of pre-set options, to avoid distractions at the wheel. Video streaming from popular apps and services will also be made available as a solution for when the vehicle is parked and during charging - something that anyone who has tried using an EV in daily life will tell you is a problem.

Polestar will also continue to partner with Google on advanced safety, as demonstrated by the fusion of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Google Maps. Integrated ADAS means the vehicle will use detailed map information to promote safer maneuvers on the road.

Polestar future HMI proximity sensors 004
A look at Polestar's in-car HMI, or Human-Machine Interface. / © Polestar

"We already showed the world we take digital integration in our cars seriously and are open to collaborate with experts in these fields," says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. "Now we continue that story, sharing a vision that is even more in tune with the preferences of our individual customers. Building on the Android infotainment system in Polestar 2, our future systems will make life in our cars easier, safer and more fun."

Polestar will reveal its design vision on February 25, 2020, exclusively online at 12:00 CET at and on the Polestar YouTube channel.

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David McCourt

David McCourt

David enjoys staying abreast of the latest technology and newest Android apps. Outside of the office, he can be found playing snooker and writing bad 00s indie songs.

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