In July, Volkswagen launched over-the-air updates for their lineup of high-tech, all-electric ID. vehicles—which include the ID.3 hatchback and the ID.4 two-row crossover SUV on the mainstream auto market in North America. These over-the-air updates were developed in collaboration with VW’s in-house software unit CARIAD. 

Updates for vehicles are software improvements that are sent and delivered directly to your vehicle. The entire process of installing over-the-air software updates is wireless and completed through mobile data transfer to the central high-performance computers in the ID. vehicle models. You do not have to take your car to an official dealership to get the improved software installed in your vehicle—it is installed automatically when the software update is ready and released by Volkswagen. 

Over-the-air updates are a fascinating facet of modern in-vehicle technology. These updates are fairly new and are not available even in many of the newest vehicles on the mainstream auto market. If you’re curious about the over-the-air updates that Volkswagen launched earlier this summer and VW’s plans for the future as a software-driven mobility provider, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about these updates that Volkswagen has rolled out for their all-electric lineup of ID. vehicle models. 

Regularity of Over-the-Air Updates 

Volkswagen plans to send new, wireless over-the-air software updates to their ID. vehicles every 12 weeks—approximately every quarter or four times per year. This plan makes Volkswagen the very first high-volume vehicle manufacturer to regularly deliver substantial over-the-air updates to vehicles in their lineup.

Over-The-Air Updates

Over-The-Air Updates

The regularity of the updates that VW sends to their ID. models allow Volkswagen to quickly fix any glitches in these models and ensures that the software in VW’s ID. electric vehicles will remain up to date at all times. Regular over-the-air updates also help Volkswagen’s ID. models retain their value for a longer period of time because these vehicles will never feature outdated technology—they’ll just continue to get brand-new, up-to-date software installed every 12 weeks. 

Instead of trying to sell a car with old software and outdated technology, ID. drivers will eventually be able to sell or trade-in their vehicle models with up-to-date software that was rolled out at some point within the previous 12 weeks—which means they’ll be able to get more money in exchange for their vehicle. 

About VW’s First Over-the-Air Updates 

Volkswagen’s first over-the-air updates for their ID. vehicles have been extensive. In their first updates, VW improved the image processing in the ID. models’ multifunction cameras in order to allow the cameras to recognize motorcycles and other cars at a faster pace. 

They also updated the ID. Light and introduced some new functions for this light strip that is located at the bottom of the ID. models’ windscreens. Volkswagen’s first of these updates for their ID. vehicles also included revisions to some graphics on the infotainment display screens in these models. 

Looking Toward The Future of Mobility 

Volkswagen is not going to stop now after successfully introducing these updates to their lineup of all-electric ID. vehicle models earlier this summer. Volkswagen plans to soon introduce updates to other vehicles in their lineup as well and hopes to add semi-autonomous driving functionality to their all-electric vehicle models in a future over-the-air software update. 

Representatives from Volkswagen have stated that their launch of the updates for ID. vehicle models is an important part of laying the foundation for VW’s ACCELERATE strategy—which VW hopes will help them transform into a software-driven mobility provider in the near future. 

Volkswagen envisions a future in which vehicle buyers won’t have to decide exactly how they want their car to be configured when they buy their vehicle. Instead, drivers will be able to access new functions and configurations for their vehicle after purchasing it through paid over-the-air software updates. 

While the over-the-air updates to Volkswagen’s ID. vehicles have been free of charge so far, Volkswagen plans to introduce optional paid software updates in the future as they experiment with taking steps toward launching new business models and new revenue streams. ID. drivers will have the option to forgo these updates or pay to have the new software sent instantaneously to their vehicle without setting foot in a VW dealership.