Want to watch classic Top Gear while charging your electric Polestar, or while waiting for a passenger in your Volvo? Soon you’ll be able to, with Amazon Prime Video coming to certain models.
Owners of certain Volvo and Polestar cars will be able to watch more films and TV shows through their vehicle’s infotainment screens, with the Chinese-owned sibling brands announcing Amazon Prime Video as the next app coming to their cars.
In June, Volvo and Polestar announced models equipped with an Android Automotive infotainment system – such as the Polestar 2 and Model Year 2023-onwards Volvos – would gain an in-built YouTube app, which can be accessed when the vehicle is parked and connected to the internet.
This week, the sibling brands said Amazon Prime Video will become the next app to feature in its Android Automotive systems, rolling out via an over-the-air (OTA) update from September 18 across the globe.
A spokesperson for Polestar Australia confirmed the Amazon Prime Video app has already rolled out to the Polestar 2, while Drive is waiting for Volvo to confirm if the update has been applied to its cars as well.
The Amazon Prime Video app’s inclusion will give owners access to titles such as Top Gear or The Grand Tour, classic episodes of Mythbusters or The Boys – as well as the ability to rent new movies.
As with the YouTube app, Amazon Prime Video’s in-built application can only be accessed when the car is connected to Wi-Fi or a smartphone with mobile data (via Bluetooth) for the application to work, while the vehicle must also be stopped and in its ‘Park’ gear.
This means owners of Volvo and Polestar electric cars can browse the video-sharing service while charging their vehicles, while those with petrol and diesel models can watch videos in car parks and their own driveways.
It’s worth noting Android Automotive is different from Android Auto smartphone mirroring, as it adds Google Technology to the infotainment system itself – rather than an app within it – and does not require a mobile phone to be connected to the system to function.
While neither Apple CarPlay or Android Auto allow users to cast YouTube to a vehicle’s infotainment screen by default, smartphones running the respective operating systems can be ‘jailbroken’ to offer the feature.
Speaking to Drive, James Stewart – road safety expert and director of driver-training company Driving Solutions – said while there are lock-out safeguards which can prevent drivers from watching videos while driving, an over-reliance on screens as a whole is leading to more distracted motorists.
“Everything comes back to distractions. It’s always been the way when we put the screens in the backseat to keep the kids calm and quiet when you go for a long drive,” Mr Stewart said.
“Sometimes it’s a necessary evil, but you’d never want to have a driver distracted by a screen and not paying attention to the road. As cars get more and more autonomous, more drivers seem to be relying on those things and forgetting about what they’re doing.
“Anything that will distract the driver when they’re driving, there’s got to be something that we need to look at and stamp out because there’s too many accidents on the roads.”
In December 2022, Tesla rolled out an update which allowed owners to play some of the world’s most popular video games on their Model S and Model X electric car’s infotainment screens – though not while the vehicles are moving.
The feature is not available in Australia as the latest Tesla Model S and Model X are not sold in local showrooms.
The Post New Volvo and Polestar models get in-car Amazon Prime Video app Originally Posted on www.drive.com.au