In-Car Tech

Polestar 2 is the first vehicle with Android Automotive OS

The crossover's infotainment system runs on Google technology.

Photo courtesy of Polestar

There's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those systems allow for your Apple or Google-run smartphone to run applications on your in-car infotainment screen. Now, Polestar is taking that technology a step further, making Google's Android Automotive OS its operating system (OS) for the car's infotainment system.

The Polestar 2, the company's first all-electric crossover, is the first vehicle in the world to feature the Android Automotive OS system. This OS has Google apps and services built in, meaning you don't have to plug in your smartphone to access them. Each new Polestar 2 comes with three years of internet connectivity included in the purchase price.

Polestar 2 The Polestar 2's interior is modern and features clean design.Photo courtesy of Polestar

Using the Google Play Store on the centrally-located display, owners are able to download a range of media apps that allow them to enjoy podcasts, the radio, audiobooks, and music. Google Assistant is integrated into the car so drivers and their passengers can use it to delver voice-controlled demands just as they would at home with their Google Home device.

"By partnering with Google, we ensure that the infotainment system stays as cutting edge in the future as it is today," comments Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. "Developers are able to join the open ecosystem to adapt appropriate apps for use in the car, and create new ones. Customers will benefit from a car that seamlessly integrates into their digital lives."

Behind the scenes, Google and Polestar are making it easier to app developers to create products that interact with the vehicle in such a way that it allows the model and its owners to adhere to driver-distraction guidelines and restrictions. According to a release,

"Polestar is also releasing a new version of its system emulator for the Android Studio development platform, which now features a full implementation of embedded Google apps and services. This makes it possible for developers to test voice control and other integrations in their apps while work is in progress, allowing them to see and control the apps in the same way as users will inside Polestar 2."

Apps scheduled to be available in Polestar 2 include: podcast apps Castbox and Pocket Casts; library app Libby; radio apps iHeartRadio, Swedish Radio Play and NRK Radio; Bauer Media Audio's Magic Radio and Radioplayer apps; music and podcast app Spotify.

"At Spotify, we want to make listening to your favourite music and podcasts easily accessible – whether that's at home, on the go, or in the car," says Sten Garmark, Spotify VP of Product. "We're looking forward to introducing our innovative integration with the new Polestar 2 infotainment system on Google's Android Automotive platform. This collaboration creates a seamless, high-quality listening experience for our users on the road."

Google apps and services in Polestar 2 consists of the Google Play Store for downloading apps, Google Maps for navigation, and Google Assistant for voice control.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Aladdin Connect has joined the Samsung SmartThings family.

Photo by imaginima

If you own an Aladdin Connect smart garage door opener and a Samsung SmartThings hub, you're in luck. The Genie Company announced that the Aladdin Connect smart garage door openers and retrofit kits are now "Works With SmartThings" certified and integrated within Samsung SmartThings.

This means that users will now be able to open or close their garage door by voice command. SmartThings works with all major voice platforms including Alexa, Google, and Samsung's Bixby. Many new vehicles, including the Buick Encore GX and Acura MDX have Alexa integration.

Owners can retrofit their existing garage door in order to take advantage of the technological breakthrough.Photo courtesy of The Genie Company

Genie

Additionally, users can set up a geo-tag to recognize entry to the driveway to automatically open the garage door. There's also protocol that allows a garage door to open if smoke is detected by a smart smoke detector inside the home, or if carbon dioxide levels are sensed to have reached a dangerous threshold.

Samsung SmartThings already brings together 200 brands to allow for a connected living experience for its 63 million users in 200 countries. It can be controlled via Android and iOS mobile apps, devices, televisions, and appliances. The service was launched in 2012.

"SmartThings is commited to working with partners to enhance our user experience and continue to make connected living a reality for all,"said Ralf Elias, Global Vice President IOT/ Business Development & Partnerships at Samsung Electronics. "We we thrilled to partner with Genie and expand our ecosystem to make the car-to-home and home-to-car experiences that much easier."

"Genie is excited to be part of the growing ecosystem of products on the SmartThings platform," said Mike Kridel, President of The Genie Company. "This integration enables geofencing and garage safety capabilities that create clear value for our customers."

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The 2022 BMW M5 CS Sedan is the quickest, most powerful vehicle the company has ever produced.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The newest member of the BMW family is also the quickest and most powerful production BMW car ever made. The limited edition 2022 BMW M5 CS Sedan will be made for just one model year.

The model builds on the BMW M5, which was recently updated for the 2021 model year and combines an amplification of power with a weight reduction to achieve its performance and dynamics that enhancing both on-the-road and track capabilities of the 5 Series.

The design of the M5 is mostly unchanged with the new car, however there are definite differences. There is extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. There is a gold finish on the BMW kidney grille, model badging, and 20-inch forged light alloy wheels. The adaptive LED headlights feature L-shaped light tubes that illuminate to yellow instead of the standard white. There is a BWM Individual Shadowline trim that adds a dark shaded appearance and accentuating the yellow accent lighting.

The M5 CS is available in a standard Brands Hatch grey metallic paint with two optional BMW Individual colors – Frozen Brands Hatch grey metallic and Frozen Deep Green metallic.

2022 BMW M5 CS Sedan: Exterior

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW's engineers have tuned the car's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 to achieve 627 horsepower, a 10-horsepower increase over the Competition model, and 553 pound-feet of torque, delivered in a wider band than the M5 Competition. The engine is paired with an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission with Drivelogic. The M5 CS reaches 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the M5 Competition model. Top speed with the standard M Driver's Package is 190 mph.

The rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel drive system is standard on the car and is able to distribute all of the available torque between the front and rear axles. The Active M Differential further optimizes power between the rear wheels for maximum grip and lateral dynamics.

Drivers can select from three xDrive modes including 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD. The Dynamic Stability Control system can be adjusted to DSC ON, MDM (M Dynamic Mode), and DSC OFF. The Drivelogic switch on the gear selector lever allows three modes - Efficient, Sport, and Track.

There are three drive modes: Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. Individual configuration is available. Drivers can toggle between Road, Sport, and Track settings using the M Mode button. Engaging these modes also changes the look of the driver information screen and head-up display. Road mode is the default setting.

The M Driver's Package also includes a voucher for BMW driver training.

The car's dual-branch, electric flap-controlled sport exhaust system, with quad stainless-steel tips, has a tone that changes depending on the selected mode (Efficient, Sport, or Sport+). Additionally, the M Sound button can soften the exhaust tone for a more understated note.

The M5 CS builds on the M5 Competition Package's offering when it comes to chassis and suspension tuning. There are stiffer engine mounts, firmer springs, a 0.2-inch lower ride height, increased front negative camber, a firmer rear anti-roll bar, and tow-link ball-joint mounts. There has also been furtherspring and Dynamic Damper Control tuning.

Standard mixed-size non-runflat high-performance tires measure 275/35R20 at the front and 285/35R20 at the rear and are fitted to Gold Bronze 20-inch M forged Y-spoke wheels. Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires are available at no cost.

2022 BMW M5 CS Sedan: Interior

Photo courtesy of BMW

This car is the first time BMW has put four-passenger seating in a M model in combination with M carbon sport seats up front and two bucks seats for rear passengers. Headrests on all four seats are imprinted with the map of Nurburgring's Nordschleife.

The interior of the car has black Merino leather with Mugello red accents and contrasting red stitching. The M Alcantara steering wheel has a perforated section with red background and lightweight carbon-fiber shift paddles with matching red trim in the cut-outs and on the back panels. Alcantara is also used for the headliner.

The lightweight black Merino leather center console cover with red double stitching replaces the traditional armrest and together with the absence of the armrest area tray helps to further reduce weight. Red "CS" badging can be seen on the instrument panel and between the rear bucket seats. The M seat belts feature BMW M tri-color stitching and the "M5" badge also appears on the velour M floor mats with bespoke piping and in the illuminated "M5 CS" badge on the door sill finishers.

Pricing for the car will be announced at a later date. The M5 starts at $103,500. Expect the limited edition model to be priced higher.

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