Browser maker Vivaldi has added Renault to the list of users of the Android Automotive OS version of its eponymous web rendering engine.
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The company had already brought the Chromium-based browser to Polestar 2 EVs in late 2021, so its arrival in another Android Automotive OS car wasn’t entirely a surprise.
In this case, it’s the big screen of the Mégane E-Tech Electric at the reception, as well as the Austral and pretty much all future cars equipped with the OpenR Link system.
Renault is betting big on OpenR and describes it as “seven times smoother to use than the previous generation”.
It’s not just the bet that’s big; the system itself (on Mégane E-Tech at least) includes a 12-inch vertical screen on the center console and a 12.3-inch horizontal screen integrated into the dashboard. With a resolution of 267ppi and anti-reflective and anti-smudge coatings, the display should make Vivaldi’s browser quite pleasing.
Although you need to be parked if you really want to use it. Pull back and the streaming content becomes audio only.
Google recently announced a redesign of the Android Automotive operating system, which included a split-screen mode and boasted that the number of compatible vehicles had reached 150 million worldwide.
Vivaldi for Android Automotive is however available for Polestar 2 and OpenR compatible Renaults. A spokesperson for Vivaldi hinted that other big names are in the works and that Renault’s partners in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance need to keep at least half an eye on the proceedings.
The browser is available in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK and is installed via the MY Renault application.
Being pretty much the full version of Vivaldi (filled with features like Vivaldi’s approach to tab handling), the code should get regular updates alongside Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android releases. Logging in to a Vivaldi account also means browser data will be synced across devices, although its private data is neither stored in the car nor accessible by Renault. ®