German automaker Volkswagen promises European owners of the ID.3 and ID.4 all-electric vehicles that regular software improvements will be downloaded to their cars thanks to Over-the-Air updates. The company announced that the first of many “regular Over-the-Air” updates would come during Summer 2021.
“Volkswagen is driving forward the digitalization of its products at pace and is transforming itself into a full-service provider of hardware, software, and services. The introduction of Over-the-Air updates is the next important step in our transformation into a tech company and in the development of new business models,” CEO of the Volkswagen brand Ralf Brandstätter said in a press release.
Volkswagen is set to roll out software updates to owners of the ID. family of vehicles “every three months.” The updates, which will be downloaded to vehicles with an internet connection, will provide improvements to software performance and the introduction of new functions and customization options.
Software updates are a good way to keep owners of older vehicles updated with new cars’ latest capabilities. While it is not necessarily sustainable to buy a new car every year, this could keep vehicles within the possession of owners throughout the vehicle’s life cycle, a move that could ultimately reduce the emissions that come from vehicle production and manufacturing.
“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,” said Thomas Ulbrich, Board Member for Technical Development at Volkswagen.
Plagued with software issues since the rollout of the ID.3, Volkswagen has improved upon its foundation for its planned transition to electrification. A recent teardown of the Volkswagen ID.3 showed that the German automaker had made some real headway in terms of its EV development. UBS stated that the vehicle actually measures favorably to the Tesla lineup of cars. UBS, whose analyst Patrick Hummel has been bearish on Tesla in the past, recently upped its price target on Tesla stock by more than two-times. However, Hummel’s narrative regarding Volkswagen is encouraging for the future rollout of the automaker’s planned electric fleet.
Volkswagen has already started testing the rollout of software updates on 3,000 company cars. The company indicated in its press release that these updates were successful and that this functionality’s rollout is “an important milestone in the further development of its own electronics architecture.”