Rivian is preparing some interesting software updates for its all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV, according to the company’s head of software development, Wassym Bensaid.
Making a surprise appearance on the EV startup’s call with analysts on Tuesday, Bensaid promised upgrades ranging from adaptive tracking of battery range to a so-called “drone mode” that would include the use of augmented reality, as reported by Automotive News via Bloomberg.
The software chief stopped short of offering additional details, but an adaptive battery range tracking feature sounds like something that would benefit any EV driver out there if it were to offer a reliable and realistic remaining mileage reading on the dashboard.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1S First Drive
“We believe that our software capabilities are a structural differentiator that will only grow in importance as electric vehicles continue to increase in complexity,” said Wassym Bensaid, senior vice president of software development at Rivian.
Since launching the R1T in 2021, the California-based EV manufacturer has pushed 22 major software updates, Bensaid said, adding new features like Camp Mode, Snow Mode, and Bird’s Eye View. Another update saw the introduction of the so-called Kneel Mode which makes entry and exit easier by lowering the ride height by about 10 inches.
“We own the software stack and control nearly every single computer in the vehicle,” he said.
The firm’s head of software spoke after Rivian told investors it would raise the production guidance for this year to 52,000 units, up from the previously estimated 50,000 EVs. During the call, the founder and CEO of the all-electric vehicle startup, RJ Scaringe, talked up the importance of software and electronics, saying they would be central to the next-generation R2-based vehicles, the first of which will be an SUV that will debut next year.
“I would say that’s among the most important things to own in looking at what a structurally cost-advantaged vehicle manufacturer will look like in the world of today,” Scaringe said.
In the second quarter, Rivian manufactured 13,992 vehicles and delivered 12,640 units, surpassing Wall Street estimates that said deliveries would top out at around 11,000 EVs.
At its factory in Normal, Illinois, the brand builds the R1S SUV, R1T pickup, and the Amazon EDV. It also assembles the Enduro drivetrain, which was developed in-house and is fitted to the electric van and the two passenger vehicles in their dual-motor variants.