Polestar, the Swedish electric vehicle maker that counts Leonardo DiCaprio among its major investors, announced on Thursday that it was sending out a new over-the-air software update to Polestar 2 vehicles around the world. This update includes enhancements to YouTube functionality, the Range Assist feature, and the Apple CarPlay function. The Thursday update is known as P2.9.

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath expressed confidence that integrating the YouTube app into the Polestar 2’s central display would make the Polestar 2 more enjoyable to drive. However, the upgrades to Range Assist and Apple CarPlay are of even more significance.

The upgrade to Range Assist means that Polestar 2 vehicles will now show the energy consumption details of the last 100 miles of customers’ journeys in real time. Furthermore, range projections will be continuously updated to account for environmental factors that affect electric vehicle efficiency. Previously, Polestar estimated vehicle range based on standardized assumptions.

P2.9 will also lead to improvements in Apple CarPlay functionality. Drivers can now manage calls using their steering wheel buttons while they view navigational routes. This will enable Polestar 2 drivers to get work done over the phone without having to use risky handheld cell phones.

Having once been considered a major threat to the Tesla Model 3, the Polestar 2 has yielded disappointing sales results in recent years. Globally, only 51,000 customers purchased a Polestar 2 in 2022, compared to 240,000 sales for the Tesla Model 3 in the US alone.

Polestar is hoping that the P2.9 update will help it to challenge Tesla’s supremacy in the electric vehicle industry. However, according to consumer reviews, the Polestar 2 already had an edge over the Tesla Model 3 with respect to technological apps. Although the P2.9 update will be helpful, I would be pushing Polestar to prioritize acceleration speeds, driving range, and seat comfort if I were Leonardo DiCaprio.

Image attribution: Colin Chau, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons. No changes made.