The French brand Renault does not deploy its own infotainment operating system in its modern models, but has opted for a solution from Google. It’s called Android Automotive, and its environment and functions are very reminiscent of a smartphone.

Renault is not the first car company to deploy the system, it has already been used by Volvo, its sibling Polestar and the American Chevrolet. In our country, however, Renault is the first significantly expanded brand with this solution, multimedia with a system supplied by a third party can be found today in the electric Mégane, but also in the Austral, Espace or the stylish car called the Rafale.

And it can be assumed that there will be more models… Therefore, let’s get acquainted with several reasons why we find this solution attractive. We have had the opportunity to examine it in detail for several months in our long-term tested Mégan E-Tech.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The Android Auto system is the same for all car manufacturers, but they can modify it graphically and content according to their own ideas. This is also why Renault and Volvo multimedia today look different despite the same basis.

Quick and clear

Right from the start, we were impressed by the speed of the system – quick display of map data, nimble transitions between individual menus, no stuttering while waiting for a particular function. We’ve been driving Mégane for half a year, and we only had to do a “hard” restart when for some reason the wireless connection with our smartphone stopped working. The problem was solved in a few tens of seconds.

At the same time, the multimedia is clear. They have a home screen with navigation, from which you can move to an overview of applications or settings of the car itself by pressing the icon. In addition, Renault has really high-quality displays in its new cars, so the image is sharp and the colors are vivid.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The new infotainment is officially called Renault OpenR Link.

Third-party applications

We took a bite out of the applications. A number of them are built into the system from the very beginning, others you can download from the Google store (again very similar to a smartphone), for example more detailed information about the weather or the results of sports matches.

However, we are pleased with two other options. You can install Waze navigation or the Spotify music service directly into the infotainment. In practice, it is precisely these applications that are why we so often mirror a smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This option is still there, but if you make full use of the available “apps”, mirroring suddenly becomes pointless.

Photo: Renault

This is what the app store looks like. These (like the entire software) are regularly updated in the background.

Even smarter in an electric car

But she and the built-in navigation work very well. They are the well-known Google Maps that we use in a web browser or phone. And since the car is constantly connected to the Internet, it is a matter of course that current traffic information or the marking of detours are also supplied. If you are logged in via your Google account in the car, the destination destinations and points that you previously searched for on other devices are automatically written into your navigation.

Another smart function is connected to the electric drive of our Mégane. When you enter a destination in the navigation, the information about how many percent of the battery you will arrive at the place is automatically calculated. You can also see what the battery status will be if you plan to return to your original location. Because the calculation takes into account the profile of the route, highway sections or the current weather, it is usually very accurate. And if by chance there is not enough juice in the battery, the system will automatically suggest an efficient stop for recharging.

Photo: Renault

The map background can be projected onto the center screen, or in the digital instrument panel. We especially appreciate it at night, then you can turn off the main display completely and a smaller number of surfaces shine on you.

With the transition to Android Automotive, Renault simply hit the nail on the head. He doesn’t have to develop his own system at length and cost (which in principle will never be equal to a technological giant like Google anyway), but his cars in the end offer more functions than some of the competition. Thumbs up for this solution!

What about you and technology in cars?

I am an enthusiast, helpers and assistants are my bastion!

I like ones that make sense and don’t rush.

They are not allowed in my garage! I want to drive the car and not get distracted.

A total of 1 reader voted.