The first Android Automotive car is keeping good pace with OS updates, so far

Polestar 2 drivers are now up-to-date with the latest version

Android Automotive still hasn’t made much of an impact among car buyers, but that’s to be expected when very few manufacturers have started shipping it with vehicles in the two years since Google collaborated with Polestar to launch the first model. Regardless, many people are understandably nervous about committing to a smart infotainment system for the better half of a decade when it runs on an OS with a reputation for losing updates after two or three years — thank the phone makers for that one. It’s still too early to judge how things will turn out for cars, but a new update for the Polestar 2 marks its second major OS update, and the point where we probably have to start watching for both good and bad habits to emerge.


Most of the changes listed in the new Polestar 2 firmware (via @AndroidTV_Rumors) amount to stability improvements and bug fixes. However, the most significant change is a major OS update to Android 11. That might not sound very current since Android 12 already feels like old news, but Android Automotive versions can be expected to follow behind the latest OS versions. This gives developers more time to work out a lot of the bugs and perform rigorous safety testing with car manufacturers.

Users are unlikely to notice too many changes from an OS update, but the changelog highlights that this release will add support for “new app categories and future functionality.” While that statement isn’t specific, it likely refers to last year’s addition of three new app categories and support for unifying app development to target both Android Auto and Android Automotive.

Polestar’s history of updates has added up to 13 over the last 30 months, though they’re not exactly spread out evenly to line up with security updates. While it was probably safe to assume support would last at least through two major updates, now comes the time to keep an eye on the Polestar 2 so we have a baseline to compare against.

Most people probably expect 4 years to be the minimum for major updates, which feels reasonable based on Samsung’s commitment; but there are many that hope to see Android Automotive maintained with the same fervor Nvidia has shown to the Shield.

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