With the world’s population glued to their phones, automakers realizerealize that their vehicles must provide an identical experience for infotainment–even when sharing the experience with Google or other technology giants. The long-awaited Android Automotive OS system debuts in the 2020 Polestar 2 in a few months and will ultimately power millions of cars from General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.
If you’re not aware, Polestar is the new high-performance electric company of Swedish’s Volvo Cars and its Chinese-based parent Geely Auto Group. The Polestar Precept is an electric concept car revealed on Tuesday after the coronavirus prompted the Eneva International Motor Show. Postponement It indicates a bright future for both Polestar design and Android OS.
It’s Polestar 2 that will debut the open-source platform in showrooms, featuring Android-powered navigation applications, apps with voice commands, and screens that prod. The appealing fastback car is an electric competitor for Tesla’s Model 3, which combines 408 all-wheel drive horsepower and an approximately 450-kilometer range at a US starting price of $63,000.
While Polestar will be able to get its first showroom, General Motors made waves in September with the announcement that Android OS would power the infotainment systems that are available on Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC models from the calendar year 2021. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance are also onboard, with each automaker customizing the look and feel of systems to suit their design needs. With GM as the sole owner of approximately 17.5% of the U.S. car market, it’s a huge victory for Google, as Brian Rhodes, director of research and analysis for connected vehicles at IHS Markit.
“Volvo is the first domino to fall,” Rhodes declared. “And for automakers, Google and consumers, it’s a big milestone in where infotainment is going.”
Polestar 2 shows what this environment and its interface for humans will appear like. Nearly every control for the user is located on a 28-centimeter tablet-like touchscreen inside the minimalist interior. (Fortunately, there’s an audio control in analog format, a feature that numerous drivers demand).
Owners can use embedded features such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play Store, even when their mobile is turned off. A phone-based digital key adapts the user’s environment when they enter and exit the car while adjusting the seats, mirrors, climate, and entertainment settings. However, video streaming of popular apps and websites is possible only when the vehicle is charging or parked.
Google Assistant, with its ever-growing array of conversational dialects, local accents, and conversational speech patterns, will improve on the clunky, pre-set voice commands that many people disliked or did not bother to learn in automakers’ systems. Drivers can now use it to connect with Google-connected devices at home. In places where older-fashioned systems can no longer keep up with the rapid advancements in technology–CD player, anyone? – Android OS units can be upgraded through the air, keeping infotainment systems and applications up-to-date even as the car ages.
For its part, the Polestar Precept provides the possibility of a future. The space under the hood, which was previously devoted to an internal combustion engine and radiators, now houses two radar sensors, as well as a hi-def camera that is hidden behind a transparent screen and LED headlamps in the shape of “Thor’s Hammer” The latter was a transfer from Volvo. A lidar pod atop the roof made of glass and wide-angle rear cameras complete the sensors suite to provide driver assistance and safety. Camera-based systems are a replacement for traditional side mirrors.
The electric Polestar Precept Concept car, revealed this week, is powered by the Android Automotive OS. IMAGES: POLESTARThe Precept is also a preview of the next-generation Android-powered human-machine interface, which includes an orientated portrait, a 38-centimeter central touchscreen, and a 32-centimeter driver’s monitor. To help combat overloaded information and prevent distracted driving, the interface of the Precept comes with eyes-tracking sensors, which can light screens and adjust the content based on whether people look at them. They then dim when they turn away. The proximity sensors, already present in Cadillacs and other luxurious automobiles, pull up relevant information from the screen when an individual hand is near.
Automakers, who throughout their history have contracted out a portion of components’ design and manufacturing to suppliers, including Bosch electronic components and ZF transmissions, have realized the embedded systems for infotainment do not keep up with Silicon Valley’s most sophisticated offerings. Instead, consumers are seeking techniques that mimic the apps that they have on their phones.
This has enabled Apple and Google to break into the auto industry. Apple CarPlay, along with Android Auto, lets users beam the navigation capabilities of smartphones and other apps onto the central touchscreen of a car. Apple CarPlay, as well as Android Auto, are now available in more than 400 vehicle models in the world. However, they require a charged, plugged-in phone to work.
To ensure that no one is left behind, Amazon is cooperating with Toyota, Audi, Ford, and various other carmakers to add Alexa into the driver’s seat. Microsoft has been developing infotainment in conjunction with Ford, Hyundai, and Kia. Rhodes states that the tech giant’s entry into the automobile industry creates privacy concerns and who can control or profit from data.
“From Google’s perspective, it’s about collecting data, period,” Rhodes explained. “It’s the strategy they entered automotive with, and the strategy they continue to pursue.”