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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New plug-in hybrid SUV

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe starts at $59,495

The Grand Cherokee 4xe is premium, inside and out.

Jeep/Stellantis

Last year, Jeep electrified the Wrangler, its most iconic model, with an innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain (PHEV). Not long after, the brand announced a similar version of the Grand Cherokee. The upscale electrified off-roader offers plenty of standard tech and features, solid safety equipment, and 25 miles of all-electric range. Today, Jeep announced pricing for the SUV, which will start arriving in dealers this spring.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe The 4xe powertrain delivers up to 25 miles of all electric range. Jeep/Stellantis

Pricing for the 4xe lineup starts at:

  • Grand Cherokee 4xe: $59,495
  • Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe: $64,280
  • Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe: $67,555
  • Grand Cherokee Summit 4xe: $71,615
  • Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe: $76,095
The Grand Cherokee 4xe comes with a turbocharged 2.0-,item inline-four that combines with two electric motors for a total output of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The 4xe powertrain includes plug-in hybrid technology, which enables all-electric driving. In the Grand Cherokee, there's up to 25 miles of electric range, which could enable a completely gas-free ownership experience for people with short commutes. Once the electric range is exhausted the vehicle functions like a normal hybrid, and the batteries must be recharged to replenish range.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe The Grand Cherokee joins the Wrangler 4xe in Jeep's electrified lineup.Jeep/Stellantis

Fortunately, the 4xe's premium starting price buys a premium SUV, even at the base level. Standard features include Capri leather upholstery, a 10.1-inch touchscreen and 10.25-inch passenger display. A dual-pane panoramic moonroof and heated power seats are also standard. A full suite of advanced safety systems come standard as well. All 4xe trims come with full-speed forward collision warnings, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, LED headlights, and more.

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The 2023 Sequoia is all-new and a huge improvement over its predecessor.

Toyota

The Toyota Tundra and Sequoia were two of the oldest vehicles on the market, but that's all different now. The new Tundra is already on the streets, and today Toyota released a load of specs and details on the all-new 2023 Sequoia. The full-size SUV gets a major update for the new model year with completely fresh styling, impressive new tech, and a powerful standard engine. We don't have pricing details yet, but Toyota says the 2023 Sequoia will be available starting in summer 2022.

2023 Toyota Sequoia In addition to new styling, the SUV gets a twin-turbo hybrid V6 powertrain and a load of updated tech.Toyota

Five trims of the Texas-built SUV will be offered: SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and Capstone. All 2023 Sequoia models get the impressive twin-turbo V6 hybrid i-Force Max engine from the all-new Tundra. It makes 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque, and sends it to the rear or all four wheels through a ten-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain delivers a max towing rating of up to 9,000 pounds, which is a solid number and a massive increase over the previous Sequoia.

Toyota offers automatic-leveling air suspension and adaptive suspension settings with modes for Comfort, Sport S+, and Custom. The Sport drive modes also improve throttle response and changes transmission shift points. The electric motor handles most propulsion duties below 18 mph, but after that the gas engine steps in. The motor is constantly involved when the truck is in Tow/Haul mode.

2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro models get under-body cladding and beefier tires.Toyota

Similar to the high-end treatment given to the Tundra, Toyota will offer a Capstone trim for the new Sequoia that brings unique upholstery and trim materials, 22-inch chrome wheels, power side steps, American Walnut inlays, and more. That said, even the standard Sequoia SR5 offers plenty of standard gear. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, along with heated seats and more. An available Premium Package adds an enormous 14-inch infotainment display, power third-row seats, a hands-free liftgate, and additional power outlets.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 will also be standard for the SUV. The system includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and rear seat reminders. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts is also standard.

2023 Toyota Sequoia The new Capstone trim is a super-plush trim with an interior rivaling those in many luxury brands.

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