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Lincoln previews new Constellation infotainment powered by Android

Google's Android Automotive OS and the Lincoln Intelligence System will power the "coast-to-coast" screens in upcoming models.

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Coming soon to a Lincoln near you.

Lincoln

Lincoln on Wednesday announced that it will use Android Automotive OS to power the infotainment system in future vehicles. Of course, this isn't a surprise, since parent company Ford announced back in February that it is transitioning to Google's automotive framework. For Lincoln, Android power will back the automaker's new Constellation display. 

Android Automotive can currently be found powering the Polestar 2 and Volvo's XC40 Recharge, but the framework is flexible enough that Lincoln's system will likely not look anything like the software in those vehicles. For starters, it'll likely live on an ultrawide, "coast-to-coast display" similar to the one showcased on the Lincoln Zephyr Reflection concept in Shanghai earlier this year.

Lincoln Zephyr Reflection concept

The Zephyr Reflection concept gave us the first look at Lincoln's "coast-to-coast" panoramic display.

Lincoln

Lincoln calls the new digital design language that will overlay the software Constellation, which will feature a dark aesthetic inspired by the night sky. Themes and custom modes will allow the user to adjust the look and feel of the interface to their mood, tying into vehicle lighting, climate, seat, massage, scent and audio settings. The concept reminds us of the Energizing Comfort system on Mercedes-Benz's more luxurious offerings.

"The space that surrounds you has an immense effect on your overall mood," Kemal Curic, Lincoln's design director, said in a statement. "Crafting a space that goes beyond the traditional -- a serene sanctuary that elevates the senses and impacts a client's mood every single day -- reveals that as designers, we contribute so much more to the overall experience than just creating vehicles that look good."

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The new infotainment will introduce a new mood-based theme system that ties into various comfort-oriented systems.

Lincoln

Beneath the aesthetics and theme is the Lincoln Intelligence System, an always-on connected framework that enables enhanced over-the-air updates. Lincoln says this ability to update and add new features to the infotainment and cabin tech, electrical systems, power distribution and vehicle computing systems means that its future models will "get better over time," months or even years after the point of sale.

However, even current Lincoln owners have something to look forward to. The automaker also announced that it will continue to update and add features to its Sync 4 infotainment, starting with the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus, which will receive its first software updates via the Lincoln Enhance OTA system. Nautilus owners will get a new Securialert feature that sends notifications to their phone if vehicle is unlocked or opened. Enhancements to the navigation system, Apple CarPlay and digital owner's manual are also headed down the update pipeline this summer, with new Amazon Alexa smart home and digital assistant functions coming later in the fall.