Polestar Q&A session: Waze, Optus connectivity, Android Automotive Updates…

I had a chat recently with Polestar Australia about their Polestar 2 electric car, this is what I found out about Optus connectivity / IP address, Android Automotive updates, Waze app and more …

Polestar 2 I had on loan in late 2022 from Hertz Australia for a few days test drive review in Victoria.

Car data SIM

New Polestar 2 owners in Australia often notice something unusual about the internet connectivity, like this person discussing the issue on Reddit recently. This person and many others will be glad to hear that local IP addresses will be enabled during 2023.

Anyone know why my Australian polestar is connecting via an international ip address?
by u/rockresy in Polestar

What mobile network does the SIM run on?

Polestar Australia response: “Optus with a Singapore Singtel IP address. Later this year it will switch to a local IP address”.

How long does the SIM last before the owner needs to start paying for it separately? 

Polestar Australia response: “At this stage it’s 3 years”.

Maps, Route Planning and Google voice commands when outside of mobile coverage

Many drivers will be happy with the built-in Google Maps but some prefer the Waze navigation app instead so I asked…

Will the Waze app will be available on the Polestar 2? Or is it not going to happen?

Polestar Australia response: “This is imminent”.

Is it possible to download all of Australia (incl islands such as Tas) as offline maps if a Polestar driver is planning rural/regional drives outside of Optus mobile coverage?

Polestar Australia response: “Google Maps has automatic downloading of map data when leaving a “good coverage” area. The idea is for the user not to bother with downloading maps when going into rural areas”.

“There is an option to download maps manually (Google Maps settings -> Offline maps -> Select your own map) which allows the users to download specific areas of the map. Then manual area is limited in size (depending on how much information there is in the map to download, denser areas requires more data. The users can do these manual downloads multiple times to potentially cover a larger area”.

If outside of Optus mobile coverage do the voice commands and key car features eg planning route to destination on screen still work or do owners have to use their phone?

Polestar Australia response: “When the car does not have its own connection, for whatever reason, Google Assistant commands will not work and Google Maps will not have access to live traffic data”.

“However, route planning will still work as the offline maps are automatically updated when journeys are planned (so you can still run new navigation tasks in another area even without connectivity). Using a mobile hotspot will restore full functionality”.

Software Updates and Replaceable Touchscreen?

A lot of the functionality of an electric car relies aon the car operating system software and touchscreen so I asked about over the air software updates and if the touchscreen and OS were modular/replaceable with a better one in the future.

How many years of Android Automotive OS software updates does Polestar Australia/Google promise to drivers? After this date is it possible to pay for more updates?

Polestar Australia response: “We intend to work with our partners to continue supporting software updates as long as they can bring clear consumer benefits and it’s still possible to do so. From Polestar’s perspective, we currently do not have a set date to end software updates for our customer cars”.

How many years of Android Automotive security updates does Polestar Australia/Google promise to drivers? After this date is it possible to pay for more updates?

Polestar Australia response: “We believe it’s crucial to continue supporting our customers with critical security patches for their Polestar cars. With that in mind, we aim to continue providing support to our customer cars with our over-the-air updates for as long as possible”.

Since so much functionality is via the touchscreen and Android Automotive OS will it be possible to buy a new touchscreen/head unit or equivalent after eg 5 or 10 years to continue being able to use the car fully with modern software that exists then?

Polestar Australia response: “This is not planned at this stage”.


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