– Mar. 4th 2021 6:19 am ET
Volkswagen is announcing the start of its over-the-air software updates for its ID electric vehicles, something that Tesla has been pioneering.
But strangely, customers need to go to the dealership to get a software update to activate the over-the-air update capability.
Tesla pioneered over-the-air software updates in the auto industry.
The automaker built its software ecosystem inside its vehicles much like the consumer electronic industry.
It can be easily updated through software updates pushed over-the-air, like an iPhone or a laptop.
Tesla has used this capability to push bug fixes, introduce new features, and update the user interface inside its vehicles.
It has been a big selling point for the automaker since it enables its vehicles to still improve with new features years after they have been produced and delivered.
We recently had an article about Tesla updating the software of a large fleet of vehicles in a parking lot go viral: ‘Tesla updating software of a fleet in parking lot looks like the aliens are coming.’
Tesla first introduced this technology in its vehicles in 2012, and we are only now seeing the auto industry starting to catch up.
Automakers like Ford with the Mustang Mach-E and VW with ID.3 and ID.4 have announced over-the-air software update capability.
Today, the latter announced the first software update that enables its electric vehicles to get OTA software updates:
“Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 models in Europe can now receive new functions and in-depth technical updates via W-LAN or mobile network.The customer’s vehicle always remains at the cutting edge of digital developments with the so-called “Over-the-Air” updates. The software version ID.2.1, which establishes the technical prerequisites for “Over-the-Air” updates, is automatically included with all new ID. models produced since calendar week 8.”
Volkswagen reportedly had a lot of issues building the software for its ID electric cars, and now it is showing.
Only vehicles currently being produced are equipped with the software version ID.2.1, which enables over-the-air software updates.
Of course, VW has been delivering the ID.3 and ID.4 electric vehicles for months now. Those owners will actually have to go to their local dealership in order to receive the software update.
But after that, they should be able to receive the following software updates over-the-air through Wi-Fi or a mobile connection.
Thomas Ulbrich, board member for technical development at Volkswagen, commented on the announcement:
“This will ensure that all delivered ID. Models will be kept at the same software level as new cars throughout their entire life cycle. Over-the-Air updates will also be the new normal in cars in the future. With them, we will keep all delivered ID. models on the same software level as new cars for years to come.”
VW says that they plan to release new software updates every three months starting this summer.
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