Manufacturer will offer quarterly software upgrades with the ability to buy extra services in the future.
Volkswagen will roll-out the first over-the-air updates for ID 3 and ID 4 models starting from this month, with the plan to offer quarterly updates for all models in its electric ID range from now on.
The updates are a key step in Volkswagen’s renewed focus on software, and will also be key in the firm being able to charge money for extra services in the future.
The initial update will first be sent to the first ID 3 models that were sold in Europe already, whose owners are part of the ‘First Movers Club’. Due to software issues during the launch of the electric hatch, some models were sold without all of the originally intended functions. Updates will then follow for other ID 3 models and for the ID 4 SUV.
Volkswagen Australia is yet to confirm availability of the car locally, though it would likely offer the same upgrade ability.
The initial update will upgrade the ID 3’s system to ID.Software 2.3, and will include a range of new functions. These will include upgrades to the dynamic light assist’s automative main-beam control function, dashboard-mounted ID Light bar so that its will use light signals to offer tips on driving more efficiently and refinements to the infotainment touchscreen interface.
The updates will automatically be sent to a car through the built-in internet, with owners able to choose when they install the upgrade. The download will occur in the background, but drivers will not be able to use the car while the upgrade is installed. Owners must have a registered account with Volkswagen to receive updates.In the future, Volkswagen will be able to update 35 control units on the ID models.
Silke Bagschik, Volkswagen’s e-mobility sales boss, said Volkswagen had an extensive list of software upgrades planned, with the goal to balance each update to ensure it was a manageable size.
Badschik said: “We have a long wish list of ideas based on listening to feedback on what customers want, and we have some cool ideas coming from within the company.”
While the first updates will be free, Bagschik confirmed that future updates would offer paid-for upgrades.
“In the future there will be some functions that we say ‘this will be worth some money’ and people will be happy to spend some money,” said Bagschik. “This is a valuable part of our business money – but right now we don’t have a firm date for the first functions that people will pay for.”