Polestar EVs get Prime Video streaming as digital car key expands to Hyundai lineup thanks to Android Auto update and Google built-in feature dump

Some electric car makers, such as Tesla and Rivian, have chosen to develop their own in-car software. This strategy allows these manufacturers to customize the car experience, and some have features not found in Google alternatives, but many consumers find systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be superior alternatives. The latest update to both Google built-in and Android Auto elevates the functionality of the in-car infotainment system beyond just basic calls, music and navigation.

Cars running Android Auto can now join conference calls on the go using both Zoom and Cisco WebEx. The meeting functionality is limited to audio only, for obvious reasons, but it’s a useful tool that can help make navigation more productive.

What’s more, some Polestar, Volvo and Renault vehicles with Google built-in (AKA Google Automotive Services), which are often paired with the Android Automotive operating system, can now stream video from Amazon’s Prime video streaming service. This is useful for charging stops in electric vehicles, and joins other streaming apps, such as YouTube, on the Play Store. For obvious reasons, broadcasting is limited to the time when cars are parked.

Joining a few Polestar vehicles, other Google-enabled vehicles will soon also be able to download Vivaldi’s browser and The Weather Channel apps to enable better route planning and in-vehicle comfort. Again, this is useful in electric cars, where charging interruptions can easily exceed 30 minutes.

Finally, Google is also bringing digital car key functionality to new markets. Although previously only available in some European countries, the Digital Car Key will now also be available for select Hyundai, Genesis and Kia vehicles in the US, Canada and Korea. For now, this is also limited to some compatible Samsung and Pixel devices. Support is likely to expand as the technology matures.

Buy the unlocked Google Pixel 7-5G smartphone on Amazon.

(tags for translation)electric

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