Auto maker Volkswagen has announced that all ID. models will receive regular software updates, effective immediately, via mobile data transfer, as the German OEM aims to become a software-oriented mobility provider. Previously the updates were only available to customers as part of a test phase, but now the ID. Software 2.3 will offer users of the ID. vehicle line a range of new and optimized functions.
“Full availability of our over-the-air updates underlines the innovative capacity of Volkswagen and forms the basis for a completely new, digital customer experience,” commented Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter. “At the same time, we are laying the foundation for new digital business models and hitting a key milestone in our Accelerate strategy.”
The OTA updates were created in collaboration with the Volkswagen Group’s software company, CARIAD. Customers will benefit from free software updates roughly every 12 weeks to keep vehicles current and to improve the overall experiences.
Additionally, the manufacturer is seeking to generate extra income through the usage phase with new data-based business models. Customers can now order services and functions such as Travel Assist or improved battery performance for long journeys.
“The new updates are a central functionality of the digital, connected car. They will quickly become normal for our customers, in the same way as they have for their smartphones,” explained Thomas Ulbrich, member of the board of management for technical development. “Software development is iterative and fast. We work in short cycles, like a tech company, and provide updates to our customers at correspondingly short intervals.”
Ulbrich continued, “Vehicles that always have the latest software on board can provide an excellent digital customer experience and are therefore of the utmost importance for our future success. Thanks to regular updates, the car will not just remain up-to-date – it will become even better.”
The updates include function changes for the ID. Light, a light strip at the bottom of the windshield that will now offer drivers information to support energy-saving driving and when driving with the Active Cruise Control (ACC) automatic distance control system. Other improvements have been made to the multifunction camera following the update, and it is now able to recognize motorcycles and other road users faster than before.