back to article Electric fastback fun: Now you can surf the web from the driving seat of your Polestar 2

Chromium-based browser Vivaldi has ported its eponymous Android Tablet browser to Android Automotive, making it the first web browser on the operating system and available in the Polestar 2 electric car. Zaventem, Flanders, Belgium: August 15 2021: Polestar 2 charging at night at new Fastned charging station Electric cars …

  1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
    Flame

    It makes sense...

    It makes sense; one would not want drivers jabbing away at the touchscreen while their vehicle thunders down the highway.

    And yet far too many manufacturers insist on making drivers do exactly that to access HVAC controls and other vehicle functions. Stop taking away our physical controls, morons!

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: It makes sense...

      Yes, no wonder 80s and 90s cars are making a "comeback" in some countries. Here in Argentina, out of every hundred cars I am seeing one or two cars that are over twenty years old and keep on good condition, also these old cars are Internet and hacker proof, but not being hacked with an axe proof.

      1. davidp231

        Re: It makes sense...

        "also these old cars are Internet and hacker proof, but not being hacked with an axe proof."

        A 1987 Toyota Hi-Lux would disagree.

        1. Blackjack Silver badge

          Re: It makes sense...

          Not even a Ford Model T is axe proof, it just takes some time.

          However if you crash on one of those, the car is usually fine save for the windows, you are the one who is gonna end broken.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

    Anything one software person can restrict a hacker can restore. You just know some fekwit will unlock the ability to browse while driving, crash their (car/OS), then sue the manufacturer like the wanker they are.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

      That's their right.

      1. Mark Zero
        Devil

        Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

        What? To be a wanker?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

          If they're wankers they'll tell you it's their right.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

            It’s been possible for years to install head units with screens that show video one the move, so a browser on one of those is probably already done.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

              The ones I’ve seen from Pioneer and Kenwood, at least, will absolutely refuse to do video without a parking brake signal. Sure, that can be bypassed, but it’s not quite like you claim.

              1. a_builder

                Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

                You can buy a wiring loom plugin that disabled the brake signal to the head unit.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

                  Hence why I said it can be bypassed. But it’s not like one comes with the unit.

            2. Steve Graham

              Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

              There are various Android head units from China, all very similar in both hardware and software. I have one in my 14-year-old car that looks like an OEM stereo, but not from 14 years ago.

              There is a sytem setting to enable or disable playing videos while driving. The device has an interface to the car's CANbus, so it can tell if it's moving. There's nothing to stop me using a web browser though. The one I have on it is not Vivaldi (which is my main desktop browser) but Kiwi, which can use Chrome plugins, such as Ublock Origin, Privacy Badger and ScriptSafe. I don't think Android Vivaldi can do that.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

          Amongst other things. Nothing to stop them using a tablet or a phone to do the same thing. The approach by Polestar is a sensible default, but I also want to live in a world where can I override defaults: like being able to install alternative browser engines on a I-Phone, for example.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

      In the meantime, people will have to keep using their phone to update their Facebook profile and chat on WhatsApp while driving...

    3. MisterHappy

      Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

      And hopefully the manufacturer will be able to point to the hack and it will be thrown out with all costs assigned to aforementioned wanker.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

        You seem not to have met Mr Unlimited Liability of California…

    4. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

      To be honest when driving and someone is sat in the seat next to me why the hell shouldnt they surf the internet to find somewhere to eat, or for electric cars a free charger somewhere within dwindling range that is able to to provide valuable electrons for a couple of days in order to allow us to stagger to the next charging point (if we are lucky)

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Don't look down

    > Get rolling again, and streaming content will continue in audio-only form.

    > It makes sense; one would not want drivers jabbing away at the touchscreen while their vehicle thunders down the highway.

    Unless they are randomly jabbing away trying to get the video back. Something that mysteriously disappeared as soon as the driver should have started paying attention to the view in front, rather than on their screen.

  4. Splurg The Barbarian

    its not Chrome but would anyone really want Google embbedded system in their car?

    At least it's not Chrome, but would any right-minded pperson really want Google OS embedded in their car?

    Surely there needs to be somaethings left that Google.is creaming data off of?

    So it will soon be only kit cars, old defenders and what ever classic car you can get if your still allowed to drive them that aren't scanned, tracked and analysed.

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: its not Chrome but would anyone really want Google embbedded system in their car?

      You just made the Rush song "Red Barchetta" start playing in my mind. Damn your earworm! =-)p

      *Hands you a pint & goes off to grab the album for a trip down memory lane*

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: its not Chrome but would anyone really want Google embbedded system in their car?

      Most cars for the last ten years of so have been full of sensors and come with a SIM allowing them to transmit all the data back to the manufacturer's mothership. What, you don't want that? Unfortunately, it's a compulsory opt-in.

      1. AVee

        Re: its not Chrome but would anyone really want Google embbedded system in their car?

        "Unfortunately, it's a compulsory opt-in."

        For the first few years that is, but at some point they will turn stuff off unless you pay a monthly fee. If you're lucky, they might also just pull the plug on those servers. That's going to be a real bummer trying to sell a car like that on the second hand market.

        It's a shame really, the Polestar 2 is a really nice car imho. But an infotainment system that may stop working (or start invoicing) and surely tells Google exactly where you are is a bummer. Especially because you can really go and buy an different head unit to drop in there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: its not Chrome but would anyone really want Google embbedded system in their car?

          Actually, through circumstances I was able to have a bit of insight into what happens with that data, also gathered by, for instance, use "local info" data when you've told the GPS where you're going.

          As a result, there is one brand I will not even touch with a barge pole, whereas the other one put me in touch with their head honcho on privacy who managed to impress me with how thorough they were. The former won't even get a single star in my rating, whereas the other one runs rings round the competition in how they proxy data before it goes anywhere near providers such as Google which is the right way to go about it, provided the proxy lives and is owned in a country that has sane privacy laws.

          As it was coincidental I have no data on all car brands, but it sure would be interesting to know. To put this in context, that Tesla is 100% America owned is bad news in context of just how much data it exports from the vehicles. I certainly would not have a business confidential discussion in their proximity..

    3. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: its not Chrome but would anyone really want Google embbedded system in their car?

      yes but they are tracking your phone anyway

  5. fidodogbreath Silver badge
    Meh

    Information highway, redux

    "Why the hell don't we have a basic web browser?" asked one driver. A reasonable question

    Are we really at the point where "why doesn't my car have a web browser?" is a reasonable question?

  6. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Coat

    On a different question...

    Does this mean it has 'privacy' mode if it's the full tablet version?

    Unrelated enquiry... Does the Polstar come with blacked out windows as an option?

    Asking for a friend..

    I'll just leave.. Mines the one with the filthy manual in the pocket...

    1. hayzoos

      Re: On a different question...

      I'm confident it would have privacy mode since it exists in other android and many other if not all versions. Blacked out windows is a common aftermarket add-on so do not fret if it is not a factory option. In case privacy mode is not enough, wireguard is available for android for the highest performance VPN. Just the ticket for the streaming and if you should happen to be traveling in an area where certain content is age or otherwise restricted, then a VPN like a proxy can make you appear to be geographically elsewhere. I hope you friend's concerns are alleviated.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On a different question...

      It even has massaging seats..

      :)

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gaming whilst driving...

      That downvote must be from a Tesla fan who deems that perfectly acceptable. Probably also an autopilot-because-other-road-users-are-just-handy-test-objects beta tester.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Gaming whilst driving...

        Software update on it's way to disable game play whilst the vehicle is in motion...

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/dec/23/tesla-vehicles-video-games-driving

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android... in a car?

    Android... in a car?

    Somewhere between -3 [1] and +18 months after purchase:

    "We are sorry, Android updates are no longer available for your device. Please crush your car for recycling, and buy a new one..."

    [1] because you just know they'll still happily sell you a car for which software support has already ended...

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Android... in a car?

      Not always.

      My not inexpensive Android TV (built by Sony) has had numerous updates over the 4ish years I've had it and doesn't seem to look like it's stopping anytime soon.

      (though in fairness it is basically an nVidia Shield with a built in screen so there's a large enough customer base for it to be worth updating)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When you’re on a high score in Candy Crush

    And you’re also late for work……

  10. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

    Meh.

    Sucky-pad mount on the windscreen and I've got proper wide-screen android.

    Why would I buy this overpriced rubbish?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh.

      Because you can then still see through the windshield?

      :)

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Pandas...

    "UK police trial Tesla cars as fleets prepare for shift to electric

    Positive results may lead to Model 3 cars being adopted by police, paramedic and fire services"

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/24/uk-police-trial-tesla-model-3-electric-cars

    Now the boys and gals in blue can play "cops & robbers" or GTA whilst parked up

    1. kat_bg

      Re: Pandas...

      So every perp in a golf diesel will just have to keep moving while waiting for the police Tesla to run out of energy...

  12. Blackjack Silver badge

    Or you know you could risk going online with something a bit less expensive, like a Smartphone. Have you seen the prices to fixing a car borkage of the electronic kind?

  13. IGotOut Silver badge

    "Why the hell don't we have a basic web browser?" asked one driver.

    Because it's a fucking car.

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