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

 
 

The Lamborghini Urus Graphite Capsule adds new interior and exterior color choices for buyers.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Expressions in color and trim meet at the Urus Graphite Capsule, a collection of SUVs produced by super luxury automaker Lamborghini. The Urus itself sits at the intersection of performance and practicality, and is the best-selling model in the Lamborghini lineup.

The Urus Graphite Capsule lets buyers push the limit in a pick-and-choose fashion. Lamborghini will offer the Urus Graphite Capsule in four new exterior matte colors including white Bianco Monocerus, black Nero Noctis, and grey Grigio Nimbus and Grigio Keres. The lower parts of the car, the front, rear, and side sills, are all finished in the color.

Lamborghini Urus Graphite Capsule

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

From there, buyers are able to choose from four tiny accent colors: orange Arancio Leonis and Arancio Dryope, yellow Giallo Taurus, and green Verde Scandal. Those accent colors are shown on the front splitter, door inserts, and rear spoiler.

The cabin of the Urus sports the same traditional design the SUV has had during this, its initial generation. The Urus Graphite Capsule check box adds dark, anodized aluminium trim on the dashboard and door panels, with new matt-finish carbon fiber inserts. The buyer's choice of exterior colors are carried over to the inside where upholstery is contrast stitched. Q-citura stitching and the embroidered Lamborghini logo reside on the headrests.

The ventilated Alcantara seats are an exclusive option only available on the Urus Graphite Capsule and the recently launched Pearl Capsule.

"The new Graphite Capsule endorses the inimitable versatility of the Lamborghini Urus as the original Super SUV: its color and styling is as adaptable and versatile as its presence in every high-performance and lifestyle environment." said Automobili Lamborghini Chief Commercial Officer Giovanni Perosino. "The inherent design of the Lamborghini Urus, with the DNA of our super sports heritage, lends itself to virtually limitless potential for personalizing color and trim. The Urus Graphite Capsule is the latest collection to offer our growing clientele the opportunity to stamp their individuality and way of life on their Lamborghini."

The Urus Graphite Capsule is available on Urus model year 2021. It has a starting MSRP of $218,009 in the U.S.

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The front of the concept is very EV in its design.

Photo courtesy of Honda

The Honda SUV e:concept debuted in China this week signaling what's ahead for a future mass-production model of the Honda brand's first electric vehicle to be introduced in China. While what's sold in China doesn't always make it to American shores, there are a few things to be learned by taking a closer look at the concept.

We know that the vehicle's powertrain is electric. How many motors? What type of battery? How much power? In a nutshell, we have no idea. However, that could be where Honda's relationship with General Motors kicks in. A recent agreement to share platforms and co-build future vehicles builds on the electric vehicle platform sharing agreement the two automakers signed in April. In the first agreement agreement, Honda agreed to work with GM to develop two new electric vehicles based on GM's global EV platform powered by Ultium batteries.

Honda SUV e:concept The sloping roofline of the concept is indicative of another Honda model.Photo courtesy of Honda

The concept's sweeping looks are more crossover than SUV. While there's plenty of doubt that the model will be a two-door vehicle when it arrives in showrooms, its overall aesthetic is new for Honda, though it has hints of the current-generation CR-V and Accord in its nose.

The roofline of the SUV and side profile look a lot like the 2020 Honda Avancier, a true crossover that got its start as a station wagon and now sits as the company's flagship in China. If indeed this model is an electric Avancier, it means that the U.S. market is unlikely to see it.

From a business perspective, this makes sense. Electric vehicles are not nearly as popular in the U.S. as they are in China and Europe, where they have been regulated into residents' lifestyles. Additionally, the U.S. electric vehicle charging infrastructure leaves much to be desired.

2020 Honda Avancier

Photo courtesy of Honda

Cars built for the Chinese market also do not have to meet the same strict safety testing standards as American vehicles so they can be made for less and sold for less. Upping to U.S. standards costs more and, when shipping and taxes are added in, the model may be priced out of sensibility for American Honda customers.

Wherever it's destined to go, the Honda will be a mass-production electric vehicle.

The company is committed to equipping the car with a number of safety technologies including omnidirectional advanced driver assistance systems, the next-generation Honda SENSING safety and driver-assistive system with improved recognition, predication and decision-making performance, as well as the next-generation Honda Connect, which features an AI assistant interface, smartphone link, and wireless updates.

Honda SUV e:concept The model features a unique black end with slim lights.Photo courtesy of Honda

Expect to see the next steps in the evolution of this concept in the coming year, even if it's just in spy photos.

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