This month, Polestar 2 owners can expect a substantial over-the-air update for their electric vehicles. The Swedish automaker will push out an OTA update that, among other things, upgrades the underlying operating system to Android 11.
“Software technology in our cars should not be much different from how the latest software is pushed out on smartphones in everyday life,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “With OTA updates, our customers receive constant enhancements without making a trip to a workshop. We’re very encouraged by the positive response as seen from the exponential growth in the number of OTA installations and will continue to deliver ongoing enhancements.”
The Polestar 2 was the first car to ship with an infotainment system running Android Automotive. Not to be confused with Android Auto, which casts the screen and audio from a phone to the infotainment unit like Apple CarPlay, Android Automotive is a full-blown car OS that is increasingly being adopted by other OEMs like General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis.
Each time Ars has spoken to one of these automakers about why they switched to Google’s OS, we’ve heard the same reasons, including the potential for a robust third-party app ecosystem, although Polestar has also praised the speed and responsiveness of Google’s development team when asking for new features.
When the Polestar 2 first launched in 2020 it did so running Android 9, before a January 2021 update brought Android 10 to the cars. However, that still leaves the automotive version of Android a little behind the one you might find on a new smartphone—Google released Android 12 for phones in late 2021.
This will be the 11th OTA update for the Polestar 2, which shows that the startup is maintaining a regular cadence of updates for its owners. These updates have increased range efficiency and added an eco mode, the ability to schedule charging, and the ability to precondition a battery for fast charging, among other improvements.