This month, Volkswagen will start rolling out software updates over-the-air to the models in its ID. family models. Subsequently, the Wolfsburg-based group aims to update the software of its ID. vehicles every twelve weeks.
The first vehicle to benefit from the OTA update is the ID.3: the latest software version ‘ID.Software2.3’ will be delivered via mobile data transfer in July to customers of the so-called ‘First Movers Club’. According to Volkswagen, it contains “adjustments and improvements around operation, performance and comfort”. Specifically, the update includes, among other things, extended functions of the ID. Light, optimised ambient recognition and dynamic high beam control, improved operability and design adjustments to the infotainment system as well as performance and stability improvements.
Updates for all customers of the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.4 GTX will follow successively, according to the manufacturer, and will then be renewed at twelve-week intervals. The prerequisite for the OTA updates is the software version ID.2.1, which is on board for all ID. models produced since calendar week 8. Customers of an ID. vehicle produced earlier will also receive the new ID.2.1 software, but will have to visit their dealer once. This was announced by Volkswagen in March.
Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, comments: “Volkswagen is moving up a gear when it comes to digitalisation. After the successful roll-out of our all-electric ID. family, the brand is once again leading the movement: we are creating a totally new, digital customer experience with new functions and greater comfort – every twelve weeks. This makes us the first high-volume manufacturer to regularly deliver extensive Over-the-Air Updates. This is an important milestone in the implementation of our ACCELERATE strategy, which is preparing Volkswagen for the connected, digital mobility of the future.”
The software updates are transferred directly to the central high-performance computers (In Car Application Server, ICAS for short) of the ID. models via mobile data transfer. In MEB vehicles, these take over those functions that were distributed among a multitude of control units in earlier vehicle generations. “The new electronics architecture is not only more powerful and intelligent, it also simplifies the exchange of data and functions between systems in the car. This makes it possible to reach and update up to 35 control units via the Over-the-Air Updates,” Volkswagen writes.
For the continuous updating of the software in the vehicle, the Wolfsburg-based company has set up a special project unit called ID. Digital. This is intended to collect customer feedback and react flexibly to customer needs. ID. Digital is closely linked to Cariad, the Volkswagen Group’s car software organisation. This interaction ensures great software know-how, says an accompanying press release. “Over-the-Air Updates are a central functionality of the digital, connected car,” expresses Cariad CEO Dirk Hilgenberg. “They will become the norm for customers – just like downloading the latest operating system or apps on your smartphone.”
With over-the-air updates, the Volkswagen brand says it is creating the conditions for new business models, as laid out in the ACCELERATE strategy. In future, when buying a vehicle, customers will no longer have to decide which functionalities their car should have – and which configuration is conducive to the highest possible resale value. “This is because the hardware will be standardised to a great extent. In the future, additional functions and innovative technology can be added later via software updates,” the company wrote.
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