Polestar just caught up to Tesla in a simple but important area: getting into your car. The automaker is rolling out an over-the-air Polestar 2 update with a beta Digital Key feature that unlocks the car by detecting your phone. The EV recognizes your approach using 18 Bluetooth sensors and lets you get in without opening an app or tapping against a surface. You’ll have to be in the car to start it, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the car going “live” until you’re in the driver’s seat.
The same update brings some practical improvements, including battery pre-heating to extend range, a better approach to calculating distance to empty, and better support for wirelessly charging “newer phones with additional magnetic elements” (think iPhone 12).
The Polestar app, meanwhile, now has beta vehicle controls such as remote locking and climate control starting. You can check your battery status, too. The beta will gradually reach the entire Polestar 2 fleet, and more features are coming in the future.
These are arguably overdue upgrades. Tesla cars like the Model 3 have had digital key support for years, for example. They’re bound to be welcome if you’re an existing owner, though, and they might make the Polestar 2 a more compelling purchase if you wanted an alternative to the usual EV choices. If nothing else, it’s notable that an important feature like digital key technology is available through an update — this is something that can fundamentally change how you use your vehicle.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.