Volkswagen launches over-the-air updates for electric ID. models
Volkswagen ID. model owners get free software upgrades, but future updates could introduce paid-for services
Volkswagen has confirmed that over-the-air updates will begin flowing for the all-electric ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 SUV from this summer onwards, with the first update - new software for early ID.3 customers - arriving later this month.
The update includes what Volkswagen says is a number of adjustments and improvements for vehicle operations, performance and comfort. Similar updates will roll out to the ID.4 later in the year, after which the brand promises an over-the-air update for ID. models every 12 weeks.
The new software coming to the ID.3 later this month is called ID.software 2.3. Once installed, it updates three key vehicle functions.
The first of which is expanded customised functions for the ID. Light virtual assistant. The onboard driving coach uses light signals to tell you when to take your foot off the throttle to maximise the car's range.
The next useful addition is free Dynamic Light Assist that automatically reshapes the main beam illumination for the road ahead to avoid blinding any oncoming traffic. The tech, claimed to be capable of now identifying motorbikes and even vehicles like bicycles with solid rear lights and reflectors, is said to make driving at night safer.
Finally, the latest Volkswagen ID software is claimed to refresh the infotainment system, adding new digital buttons and fonts, while optimising the menus to improve both readability and usability.
As part of the over-the-air offer, owners have the choice when to install the upgrade, but once started they will not be able to drive their vehicle until the update is complete.
Volkswagen also stresses that owners must have a registered account with the car-maker in order to receive the update.
In the future, engineers say they will be able to update all 35 control units on an ID model, which means the possibility of extra driving range being offered, along with lower charging times, custom screens and a new light signature.
Unfortunately, there is a catch with introducing over-the-air upgrades. New paid-for options and services are also on the way as Volkswagen, like other car-makers, look to exploit new revenue streams.
Volkswagen has not yet announced how much it thinks its customers will be prepared to pay to unlock these new functions.
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