Polestar’s latest software update includes YouTube so Polestar 2 owners can watch streaming video while charging their vehicles and an updated version of Apple CarPlay that includes the ability to project Apple Maps onto the instrument cluster.
That last facet is interesting because it seems to offer a preview of what Apple’s next-generation version of CarPlay, with its support for multiple displays across the dashboard, may end up looking like.
The software update, P2.9, is Polestar’s 15th over-the-air (OTA) upgrade since 2020. Automakers are increasingly relying on OTA updates to add infotainment controls, including streaming video, games, and other creature comforts for the era of connected cars.
YouTube is a big addition to the Polestar 2 experience, with the company offering Google’s video streaming service for the first time. Polestar is one of a handful of automakers that use Android Automotive, Google’s native operating system for vehicles.
But before this latest software update, YouTube was not included as part of that native Android OS. Last month, Google announced it would begin rolling out YouTube to vehicles with Android Automotive, starting with Volvo and Polestar cars.
On the flip side, CarPlay will look much different on Polestar vehicles after this OTA update. The Swedish company added CarPlay for the first time last year via a software upgrade. Now, the phone projection system will receive “extended functionality” with this latest update, according to Polestar.
On the flip side, CarPlay will look much different on Polestar vehicles after this OTA update
Phone calls can be answered with steering wheel controls while using CarPlay. And Apple Maps will display on the gauge cluster display behind the steering wheel — in what may be one of the first instances of CarPlay occupying two screens in a vehicle at once.
Last year, Apple promised to revolutionize its in-car phone projection system with deeper integration and support for multiple displays. But the rollout has been slow, and some major automakers have signaled a willingness to move past CarPlay. Earlier this year, General Motors announced it would be cutting off access to CarPlay and Android Auto with its new lineup of EVs.
Lastly, Polestar is updating its Range Assistant app to allow drivers to more accurately monitor their energy usage. According to the company, a revised algorithm for the projected range shown by the app is able to “account for changes in environmental and other factors that influence efficiency.”