Volkswagen recently presented its new generation 3,0 software update for its modular electric drive matrix (MEB) models such as the ID.3 and ID.4.
Alongside an updated software system is the integration of “over-the-air” – also known as “OTA” updates – but this only applies to models still in development. VW announced that existing models would need to return to workshops for a hands-on software installation. It was also said that a new 12-volt battery would be installed for free, the reason being that the old battery would not be able to cope with the energy requirements needed in the generation 3,0 update.
The models will first need an installation of the firm’s version 2,4 software before they’ll be eligible to receive the generation 3,0 software. According to VW, over 200,000 customers will need to have their vehicles brought in. Customers will be contacted from Easter onwards. The gen-3 software update is scheduled to release sometime within the second quarter of 2022 via an OTA update.
Established EV manufacturers such as Tesla have utilised over-the-air updates across the model ranges for years. These OTA’s are especially significant due to their ease of deployment and efficacy. Tesla can send automatic software updates to existing models without needing them to be brought into a workshop for every update. The benefit of using an OTA update system is that it allows manufacturers to continuously maintain and improve the existing software.
The generation 3,0 software update introduces a host of critical updates including myriad quality-of-life improvements. The electric hatchbacks will gain features such as assisted driving software, improved parking assist and lane-keep assistance, optimised voice control systems, ID Cockpit display updates amongst others. VW claims that it has improved the Augmented Reality (AR) features of the HUD unit. The update aims to add more driver assistance information such as road architecture information or information on the driver’s destination. An interesting addition in the gen-3 update is the “Park Assist Plus” system that will allow drivers to perform a parking manoeuvre and save it which initiates a learning sequence that allows the car to learn the manoeuvre and perform it autonomously next time.
Included in the gen-3 update are improved charging capabilities. Supposedly a change to the thermal management system allows for a more efficient charge with added range capabilities, especially in colder weather.
Although Volkswagen is late to the OTA party, their appealing range of new products and constant innovation makes up for this somewhat.
Words: Ryan de Villiers