Volkswagen Rolls Out OTA to Whole ID. Family

Volkswagen will roll-out over-the-air updates to all its ID. family to drive forward its connectivity services offering.

The technology, so far only seen on the more premium end of the market and recently announced as to be available in the forthcoming ID. 5 GTX, will be included upwards from the automaker’s ‘entry-level’ BEV, the ID.3. The updates had previously only been available as part of a test phase for customers who had registered with the “ID. First Movers Club”. The “ID. Software 2.3” offers new functions while improving existing ones.

VW says that networking the entire ID. fleet will allow it to lay the foundation for new, customer-oriented business models.

In future, the company plans to provide customers with free software around every twelve weeks to keep the vehicles up to date and improve the customer experience. It is also aiming to generate increased revenue during the usage phase with new, data-based business models, such as for services and functions that the customer can now order as required. For example, this could be Travel Assist or improved battery performance for long journeys, or even automated driving at a later point in time. It expects to sees the potential to generate hundreds of millions in additional revenue over the next few years.

Some of the new functions affect the ID. Light, a light strip at the bottom of the windscreen. It now gives the driver information that can provide intuitive support for energy-saving driving, and when driving with the automatic distance control system Active Cruise Control. Image processing has also been improved for the multifunction camera, allowing it to recognize motorcycles and other road users more swiftly. The same applies when driving in the dark. If installed, dynamic main beam control allows even more precise headlight regulation.

Thomas Ulbrich, member of the board of Management for technical development, said: “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.  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.”

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

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