Amazon Prime video is coming to certain vehicles that are equipped with Google built-in, including the all-electric Polestar 2 and eventually the Volvo EX90 — the latest example of streaming video services making its way into cars, trucks and SUVs. The new in-car app availability, along with several other features from Google's Android for Cars team, was announced Wednesday at the Detroit Auto Show.
Amazon Prime video, which is available via the Google Play Store app within the Polestar 2 and other select models, can only be accessed when a vehicle is parked. That makes sense for EV owners, who might be parked to charge for an extended period of time.
The announcements are the latest example of Google's continued push into automotive. Polestar, the publicly traded Swedish EV maker under Volvo Car Group that is owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., is often the leading edge of its efforts.
The so-called "Google built-in" product is powered by the tech company's Android Automotive operating system and integrates Google automotive services directly into the vehicle. Android Automotive OS is modeled after its open source mobile operating system that runs on Linux. Instead of running smartphones, Google modified it so automakers could use it in their cars.
Volvo and Polestar were among the first automakers to feature Google's Android Automotive OS with Google built-in when it launched in 2019. As a result, the Polestar 2 and select Volvo Cars are often the first vehicles to get new apps, including YouTube, which launched in the vehicles earlier this year, and now Amazon Prime video.
The close collaboration between Polestar and Google to continue developing the Android Automotive OS has laid the foundation for the automaker's next-generation models, including the Polestar 3 and Polestar 4, according to the company. These next models are expected to have larger screens and more capability — and, of course, a bunch of apps.