Android Automotive OS to be Included in the Polestar 2 with Google Assistant


Image Credit: Polestar

Last week Google announced its Android Automotive OS platform will now be open to third-party developers for the Polestar 2 as of today, which also coincides with the company’s annual I/O developer’s conference. Polestar is Volvo’s stand-alone electric vehicle brand, and the Polestar 2 is the brand’s first all-electric vehicle. The car was first displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019, and its software was revealed just last week. The Polestar 2 will include an embedded Android Automotive infotainment system that has been developed in partnership with Google and features Google Assistant, Google Maps, and other apps available in the Google Play store. In addition, the electric vehicle will wirelessly support Apple CarPlay. The Polestar 2 will be sold through standalone stores, and the company is taking deposits now.

Google Assistant Functionality

Engadget reports that the entire Android Automotive OS will be personalized to the driver, saving personalizations, settings, and favorites from the driver’s smartphone. The driver’s smartphone will also have the ability to act as a car key, in addition to a key fob. Scott Oldham from Engadget reports about the Polestar 2,

Google Assistant is another important part of the package, and it may be the best voice command system we’ve tried – but it’s not perfect.

Users can prompt traditional Android Auto voice commands to the system by saying “Ok Google…” Although a large part of Google’s announcement was the ability for third-parties to create apps, none have been approved yet, and developer guidelines have yet to be released. Regular updates will be a part of the OS, and the ability for third-party app developers to create their own applications will bring additional innovation to a user’s experience.

Volvo Plans Even More Android OS Integration

In 2017, Volvo announced it would use the OS and in 2018 the brand also said it would embed voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps, and other Google services into its next-generation Sensus infotainment system, called Ivo. Not only will Volvo and Polestar be implementing Android Automotive OS, but so will other big-name car manufacturers.

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Haris Ramic, Google’s product lead for Android Automotive said that Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has publicly announced plans for the inclusion of the Android Automotive OS. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced last week that Google’s Android Automotive OS will power the next version of the Uconnect infotainment system. Ramic commented on the growing number of partnerships between automakers and Google: “Interest is very high.”

Voicebot research from the In-Car Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report 2019 found that voice assistant use in-car is higher than smart speakers. Nearly twice as many U.S. adults have used voice assistants in the car (114 million) as through a smart speaker (57.8 million). The car also claims far more monthly active users at 77 million compared to 45.7 million smart speakers monthly active users. While voice assistant usage in-car to date has focused primarily on three tasks: controlling in-car features, accessing navigation information, and initiating phone calls, new voice technology can now accomplish a far great number of functions. Google’s opening of its Android Automotive OS to third-party developers can only help to advance the capabilities of in-car assistants and really tap into the potential of voice in the car.

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