Volkswagen Moves a Step Closer to AVs with ID. Upgrade

Following successful testing of its swarm data technology, Volkswagen is rolling out its benefits to owners of its ID. BEV models with over-the-air updates.

With its software generation 3.0, the automaker is adding various new functions enhancing user experience and boosting charging capacity. It is hoping the move will accelerate its drive towards full automated driving.

For owners of cars that have already been delivered, Volkswagen plans to provide many of the benefits of ID. Software 3.0 free of charge via OTA as of Q2. The optional “Travel Assist with Swarm Data” automatically keeps the vehicle in the center of the lane. It adapts to the user’s driving style and can also drive further to the left or right of the lane instead of exactly in the middle. It can also maintain the distance from the vehicle in front and keep to the preset speed limit. The system has predictive cruise control and turning assistance. The vehicle speed can be adapted to local speed limits and road layouts (corners, roundabouts, etc.).

With two radars at the rear and using ultrasound, the system can keep an eye on surrounding traffic and, at speeds of 55mph or more on the motorway, also actively support lane changes. When activated, the lane change can be initiated and carried out by indicating provided that the sensors have not detected any objects in the surrounding area and the capacitive steering wheel can sense the driver’s hands. The driver can intervene at any time and take control of the maneuver.

If anonymous swarm data from other VWs is available, the new system can also provide support on roads where there is only one lane marking. The vehicle simply aligns itself with a detected lane boundary in order to stay in the lane, for example, on country roads without a central lane marking.

“Park Assist Plus”. The smart assistant “Park Assist Plus”2can search for a parking space after it has been activated in the parking menu (up to a speed of 40 km/h for suitable parallel parking spaces and up to 12mph for bay parking spaces) and complete the appropriate parking maneuver. If desired, the assistant can park autonomously with the help of the environment sensors, and take full control of the car, including steering, acceleration, braking and gear changes.

With “Park Assist Plus with Memory Function”, the vehicle can be taught up to five different parking manoeuvres. The memory function remembers parking maneuvers at speeds below 25mph with a travel distance of up to 140ft. For example, for parking in a carport or garage. The driver just has to park once and save the parking maneuver. The vehicle can then repeat the learned parking move autonomously.

The software upgrade also has major benefits when it comes to charging. Models with the 77 kWh battery can now charge a maximum of 135 kW3 instead of 125 kW at a sufficiently powerful DC charging station. Improvements to the thermal management of the battery make driving even more efficient and can increase the range, especially in cold weather.

“We are taking our products to a new level of functionality because we are working faster, are more connected and are more customer-oriented,” says Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand, responsible for Technical Development. “Again, we are living up to our claim of offering high-quality technologies and innovations in all classes.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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