Polestar 3’s next-gen Android Automotive infotainment powers up at CES 2022

Polestar 3’s next-gen Android Automotive infotainment powers up at CES 2022

Polestar has yet to show its forthcoming 3 undisguised, but the South-Carolina-built electric SUV is coming this year.


This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

The Polestar 3 isn’t due until sometime later this year, but we already know that the tech lurking inside the future electric SUV’s infotainment won’t be the same as what powers its sister vehicles. According to auto-industry supplier Qualcomm’s announcement at CES 2022 on Tuesday, the new crossover will be among the first Polestar and Volvo family models to receive a next-generation Snapdragon infotainment architecture running Google’s Android Automotive Operating System.

Qualcomm says this new hardware will deliver much swifter performance, including graphics that render 5 to 10 times more quickly, along with an overall system speed that’s 2.5 times faster than its predecessor. Audio digital signal processing will be 2.5 times more rapid, too. All of these increases in speed suggest that this new infotainment system will be capable of much snappier performance. As before, the system will feature over-the-air, or OTA, updates as well as navigation via Google Maps and Google Assistant.

Android Automotive OS is distinct from Android Auto — the former is a whole-vehicle operating system, while the latter is essentially limited to tech that mirrors one’s smartphone on a vehicle’s dashboard.

When you pull the sheet on the Polestar 3, you’ll find infotainment gear that’s more powerful than other Volvo and Polestar models.


An as-yet-unnamed future Volvo-branded SUV will also be among the first vehicles to get third-generation Snapdragon power. As Roadshow reported last June, the new Polestar 3 will share its underlying Scalable Product Architecture 2, or SPA 2, platform with Volvo’s forthcoming third-generation XC90, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the Tier 1 supplier is speaking opaquely about Volvo’s next range-topping SUV.

Recent Volvo and Polestar model releases have been powered by Android Automotive OS, including the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge. It’s unclear if this next-generation Snapdragon 3 system will make use of a similar 9-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen like those vehicles, or if there will be enhancements to their menu systems or any changes to physical switchgear on the dashboard. Recent Volvo and Polestar models have received praise for their sleek and modern cabins as well as criticism for a perceived overreliance on touchscreen controls instead of physical buttons, an arrangement some users find less intuitive.

Both the Polestar 3 and the next-generation XC90 will be built at Volvo’s new plant in South Carolina. The 3 will be Polestar’s first vehicle that isn’t built in China.

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