According tomedia reports, Volvo recently launched the first luxury electric vehicle Polar 2 landed in the U.S. market. Recently, the media was invited to test drive this electric car equipped with Google’s Android Automotive car system. Overall, the Polar Star 2 has a good driving experience under Google’s system, outperforming the best-selling electric car in the U.S., the Tesla Model 3.
Recently, the author was invited to test drive Volvo’s new luxury electric car Polar Star 2. From Polar Star’s new image store in Midtown Manhattan to Storm King Art Garden, about an hour’s drive north of the Hudson River, it’s the most scenic part of New York State, with a nearly 200-kilometer round trip.
But Polar 2 is no ordinary electric car. It is the first electric car to be completely controlled by Google’s system. The localized Android car operating system controls everything from radio and air conditioning to navigation. Passengers can even use Google Assistant to turn on the seat heater: “Hey, Google, my ass is so cold.” “
Overall, even as an ordinary electric car, driving the Polar 2 feels good. The car’s electric motor has a good power output, no acceleration, and the whole process is smooth. The car has just the right grip and precise steering. The car’s central touch screen is large and easy to navigate, creating an intuitive but not distracting user experience. The state-of-the-art driver assistance system is completely different from the Tesla Autopilot, but fully capable of driving on the road. The interior is minimalist, but not as conceited as electric cars such as Tesla.
Polaris is not a household name, but Volvo hopes to add to the company’s reputation as it competes with Tesla. But if it really wants to catch up with the model 3, the best-selling electric car in the U.S. market, it needs to keep working hard. Polar’s first electric vehicles are currently shipped from Chinese manufacturing plants to the U.S. market.
In 2016, Polar Star was spun off from Volvo. Since then, the company has repositioned itself as a brand that only produces electric cars. Polar Star is jointly owned by Volvo and Geely and is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, with an assembly line in Chengdu.
The Polar Star 2, formerly a hybrid Polar Star Coupe, was launched in 2017 and features a four-cylinder engine on the front axle and two electric motors on the rear axle, generating a total of 600 horsepower of traction. Priced at $155,000, the car currently produces only 1,500 units worldwide, including 150 in North America.
Polar star is expected to launch a new model later next year: the compact SUV Polar Star 3, which is based on Volvo’s new SPA2 all-electric platform. The Polar Star concept car suggests it will have a more design aesthetic.
Polar Star 2 is Volvo Cars’ first electric car and gives us a glimpse into how Volvo is moving forward with its electric car business. The Polar Star 2 is powered by a 78 kH battery pack with a range of 470 km, with a maximum output of 408 horsepower and a speed of less than 5 seconds from 0 to 100 km, starting at $59,900.
Polar Star 2 in the picture looks big and even clunky. But in reality, the whole car is actually very compact. In length, it is shorter than the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes S-Class. Still, it looks beautiful.
The lighting system is also very windy. Polar Star is paired with the usual “Hammer of Thunder” headlights in Volvo’s product line. The rear of the car is a full-angle surround LED lights, the overall give people a sense of the future.
The Polar Star 2 interior also fits the design concept perfectly. The car comes with vegan fabric interiors and also offers a Nopa leather option. In addition, users can add high-performance packages, metallic paint and 20-inch rims, which is the maximum configuration adjustment allowed by Polar Star.
In addition, the Polar Star 2 features borderless mirrors, panoramic sunroofs, touch lights designed for rear passengers and, at its core, Google’s Android Automotive on-board system.
Polar Star 2 is also a car that can be 4 with only a mobile phone. Once seated, the driver simply closes the door, presses the brake pedal, and presses the shift to move forward.
On the return journey of the test drive, the author encountered heavy rain. Inclement weather requires focused driving, and having a fully functional, accurately recognized voice system comes in use. Google Assistant, built into Polar 2, is the best.
“Hey, Google, play podcasts.”
Since the author did not enter his own Google account, there is no data or personal preferences on the car. As a result, Google Assistant called joe Logan’s current most popular blog, but that didn’t suit the appetite.
“Hey, Google, play the Ramons.”
The on-board system began to play the Blitz, the author pressed on the pedal, the car accelerated forward, which is familiar to anyone who has ever tried an electric car before. But the joy was extremely short-lived, because everyone on the road was driving carefully. The author carefully release the pedal, the car automatically slowed down, at this time did not hit the brakes.
This is polar star’s “single pedal mode” – press the pedal to accelerate or cruise; When the pedal is released, the momentum recovery system, which can charge the battery, starts to start. The level of the dynamic recovery brake and the weight and feel of the single pedal mode can be adjusted in the vehicle settings.
There’s no doubt that the best thing about Android Automotive is the level of speech recognition. Voice recognition in most vehicles is poor, largely because car companies lack data sets and cloud computing capabilities, while tech giants such as Amazon and Google are harnessing the enormous power of their fields to refine language understanding elements in machine learning.
In recent years, major automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW have introduced powerful voice assistants that provide deep control over vehicle functions. But car owners mostly prefer voice assistants they are already familiar with, such as those they use frequently at home or on their smartphones, to voice assistants specially designed by automakers.
Car companies often want to distance themselves from big technology companies to prevent them from taking advantage of the lucrative customer data stream on their cars. But Volvo believes that by integrating Google’s systems, it may be able to sell more cars. Starting next year, Volvo will add Android Automotive to its product line and encourage developers to develop custom apps.
The author is not an Android user and has never used an Android phone, so I am not very familiar with Google Voice Assistant. But I’ve found that the presence of a voice assistant is useful for navigation, air conditioning, and music selection when driving Polar 2. The person in the car can reduce the volume by talking, turn on the seat heater, and ask about the battery level, all without having to move their fingers. It’s worth noting that Google Voice Assistant has never misunderstood what it says.
However, powerful speech recognition is not only a novelty, but also a key factor in reducing driver distractions. While staring at the road, I was able to switch between direction, temperature and music playback, which made the author a better driver and reduced the likelihood of distraction when I turned. Smartphones and digital infotainment systems can attract a lot of touch or clicks, which is obviously a distraction, and technology companies need to figure out better ways to mitigate the problem.
It can be said that polar star is one of the best electric cars the author has ever tried. Polar said it doesn’t expect sales to surpass tesla’s Model 3. Personally, Polar 2 is better than Model 3. It’s fast, long-running and has a great driving experience, using enough technology to impress.
The author finally can’t help but ask: Hey, Google, when can I drive this car again? “