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The Precept uses sustainable materials all-around and deeply integrates Android Automotive
Polestar is Volvo’s sister brand, more focused on making desirable performance cars. The Polestar 1 was heavily based on the Volvo S90 sedan, and it surely looked like it. Not necessarily a bad thing but Polestar is a separate brand now, it needs its own face. Say hello to the Precept. Partly a concept and partly a look to where the company is headed in the future. It is completely electric, as is the case with most concepts today, utilises a lot of sustainable materials and more importantly, it doesn’t look like a rebadged Volvo.
While the Precept looks very different from a Volvo, you can still spot some of its heritage dotted around. For example, Volvo’s signature thor’s hammer headlights are still here, but they are split in this application. The car looks taut and purposeful but it is not over-styled. The design is clean and simple.
The inside is dominated by the large central infotainment display, while the rest of it stays rather simple, the infotainment system defeats the need for any physical buttons. However, there is a rotary knob on the front and rear armrest, what does it control? You’ll have to wait till the car inches closer to production to find out. The yellow seatbelts add a nice touch of colour, as do the brake calipers, to the otherwise black and white theme.
The Precept showcases the future of infotainment, using eye tracking, proximity sensors and integrates Android Automotive. It gets a massive 15-inch portrait oriented infotainment screen as well as a 12.5-inch digital instrument cluster. Polestar claims that as screens get larger and more vibrant, they are also getting more distracting, to kerb that they have added eye tracking and proximity sensors to the infotainment system.
The eye tracking software knows where the driver is looking and allows it to adjust the car’s displays according to where they’re looking. There is also a proximity sensor that senses if something is about to touch the screen and automatically brightens the display and makes relevant buttons and menus appear, keeping unnecessary information at bay, until it’s needed. Polestar works very closely with Google to power the car’s infotainment system. The Polestar 2, for example, uses Android Automotive which is not just a different interface for when your smartphone is plugged in but it means the base system itself is running Android. This allows Google Assistant to be more helpful than ever before (to adjust climate and lighting, for example) but it also means you can natively run apps on it without the need to connect a smartphone. The Precept claims to take this a step further, with more advanced speech recognition and support for more languages and the ability to stream content from websites while the car charges, among others.
The Precept uses recycled and sustainable materials, absolutely everywhere. The seats for instance are made from recycled plastic bottles and the production process used to make it produces no waste. The headrests and bolsters are made from recycled corks and bottle stoppers from the wine industry, even utilising the waste left behind in the process of producing corks. The carpets are made from unused fishing nets that would otherwise end up in the bottom of the ocean, trapping fish. Not only do these materials reduce plastic waste by 80-percent, they are also 50-percent lighter than conventional materials. It is definitely a huge leap from the oodles of leather and wood that we are used to in today’s luxury cars, but it is a step that is necessary. Especially if it looks this good.
We do not know yet if the Polestar Precept is a concept the company intends to turn into reality or if they are using it as a showcase for what their cars might look like in the future, or maybe both? All we can say is that it looks great, puts sustainable materials to use and reduces distractions while driving, so we’re pretty happy.