Polestar 2 Android Automotive UX is Landmark with Too Many Keys to Unlock Productivity

Strategy Analytics – A new UX evaluation from Strategy Analytics’ In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group has assessed the Polestar 2 infotainment system and relevant HMI. By implementing embedded Google-powered features with minor adjustments specifically for in-car use, Polestar 2 infotainment designers have created a new landmark in automotive infotainment. Comparable to the premium systems from Tesla and BMW, the Polestar 2 succeeds in a big way. But still, for certain crucial use cases, aesthetic concerns have been prioritized over useful design.

Overall, Polestar 2’s infotainment system was ranked solidly in the top tier of all vehicles evaluated thus far in Strategy Analytics’ proprietary infotainment benchmark algorithm – a ranking system derived by how well a car’s available features correspond to Strategy Analytics’ existing data on consumer interest in advanced infotainment features.

Derek Viita, Senior Analyst, IVX and report author commented, “With the expansions of Android Automotive and Google Automotive Services throughout the space, automakers have anxiously awaited the arrival of the Polestar 2 as a forerunner of things to come. And it does not disappoint: the satnav and voice experiences alone make Polestar 2 extremely formidable.

Continued Viita, “But for certain in-vehicle use cases, aesthetics has been prioritized over usefulness. The log-in and authentication process necessary to unlock the full power of the Google experience, is lengthy, complex, and unlikely to be completed by those simply renting or leasing the vehicle. Touch targets and labels for some features are entirely too small for an in-car screen and Android-centric design language runs the risk of unintentionally excluding some users. And as Strategy Analytics has noted previously, though dedicated controls for defoggers are good practice, the placement of most climate controls in the touchscreen is troubling.”

Added Chris Schreiner, Director IVX, “Much of the praise lavished on Polestar 2’s system is well-deserved. But clearly valuing visual appeal over real-world in-car usability is risky. If key tasks such as media source-switching are unnecessarily complex it loses appeal to the crucial tech-savvy segments Polestar is likely targeting.”

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