Like Tesla, Volkswagen Chooses OTA Updates For I.D. Electric Vehicles

3 weeks ago by Steven Loveday 35

Volkswagen

New Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ

It was really only a matter of time before OEMs would follow Tesla with over-the-air updates, and it comes as no surprise that Volkswagen may be the first to confirm it publicly.

It’s probably not 100 percent fair to say “first”.  Automakers make these statements all the time, so it’s hard to keep up.

Koenigsegg already offers OTA on some level, but we’re talking limited production, high-performance sports cars, (and not quite like Tesla, based on the information in the post). Nissan-Renault talked of a future partnership with Microsoft to add features like OTA. Even Ford has ventured into updating its Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems via Wi-Fi, and upcoming Chevy Bolt EVs and future offerings from GM’s EV push may have some form of OTA. However, Volkswagen, and moreover, VW Group in its entirety, is really the first major automaker looking to add OTA to its future fleet of EVs.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

VW has said that it’s intent is to go full-scale with regards to new tech in its I.D family of EVs, which are slated to arrive in 2020.

The automaker plans to have fully autonomous electric vehicles on the market by 2025. The automaker aims to have three fully electric models available by 2022. All will utilize VW’s new MEB electric vehicle platform. The first two, which will arrive around 2020, include the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz and Hatch. A few years later, the I.D. Buzz microbus should follow.

It’s hard to know — with so many aggressive announcements from VW Group (no snickering please), and nothing to show for it for a few years (we hope) — where all of this will go. Nonetheless, VW is banking on tech-heavy, autonomous, future-proof offerings. Jerome Keuppers, ID Crozz product manager, told Autocar:

“The ID cars will be prepared to offer autonomous driving functions. You make it ready for the future, and because electric cars have energy on board the whole time [through the battery], you can offer over-the-air software updates. Today, it’s not that easy to update the systems on a car, because if it’s parked you don’t have energy. So e-mobility gives us more possibilities to play with in terms of electrical systems.”

Kueppers was honest to admit that the initial I.D. vehicles will probably not have self-driving features, nor will they undergo OTA updates at first. However, it seems that the cars may be built with the potential for both. Though they won’t likely come off the line with a full set of self-driving sensors, owners could potentially upgrade and then OTA updates could assure that their technology is capable of the latest and greatest feature set. Kueppers concluded:

“There will be a time when you buy an ID as a used car, and then it might be [that] you can choose to have automatic cruise control or satellite navigation by activating it over the air. That’s completely new for us.”

Source: Autocar

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35 responses to "Like Tesla, Volkswagen Chooses OTA Updates For I.D. Electric Vehicles"

  1. bro1999 says:

    Concept OTA updates for their concept vehicles. Cute, VW, cute.

    1. jpo234 says:

      The initial ID vehicles are beyond the concept stage. They are now prototypes, which is significantly further along in the pipeline.

      A concept is an advanced idea, a prototype is an almost production vehicle that gets tested to find flaws before full scale production starts.

      1. Robb Stark says:

        Ergo, VW proposed EVs are concepts.

    2. James says:

      Indeed, stupid VW. They shoukld also let their customers beta test their concept vehicles

      1. L'amata says:

        They’re talking like f00ls again ! they’re 10,000 miles from that point . 1st they need cars …a product ??duu???…Nothing like putting the horse behind the carriage lol ..so the horse could push it with it’s Nose…l m a o ..VW is SOOOooooo “FOS”…

  2. Another Euro point of view says:

    Oh please VW no !

    When I have issues with my laptop, 50% of the time it is caused by windows update or simply because it is connected.

    I don’t know if that is at all comparable to OTA update for cars but not sure I want to run the risk of checking.

    I mean all connected items (laptop, smart phone tablets) are amazingly unreliable compared to a good car.

    So far I have 155K miles on my ICE and only problem I had is a leaking radiator that costed $300 to fix. All the rest was brake pads, tires etc..(usual things).

  3. orinoco says:

    “no snickering please”
    LOL – SCNR 😉

    1. orinoco says:

      BTW the VW e-Golf is really a good BEV. Believe it or drive it yourself.
      And with all incentives you get a discount of about 12.000 € on the regular price here in Germany.
      And with all the assistance features they offer you get a small Tesla-like BEV and a mature car (a Golf is a Golf is a Golf).
      But with all the bickering from VW management (Müller) towards Tesla it’s really hard to buy an e-Golf from such a bunch of socially inept liars.

      1. EVShopper says:

        In the USA it’s also really hard to buy an e-Golf outside of California.

        1. chris says:

          My local dealer doesn’t have any but the one 15 miles away across the river in New Jersey has 3. That’s pretty far from California.

  4. CDAVIS says:

    It is amazing to witness the traditional car makers talking about putting into their future production cars what Tesla has already had in production for several years.

    Will be interesting to see over the curse of next three years if the innovation gap widens or narrows between Tesla and the traditional car makers. Likely the biggest determining factor in that is if the traditionals shorten significantly their developmental cycles… they need to ditch the long drawn-out “Concept Marketing” step that they are so accustomed to. GM to their credit has thus far done the best job at that.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…over the curse of next three years…”

      A Freudian slip, perhaps? 😉

      Just which auto maker(s) will be suffering that curse?

      1. CDAVIS says:

        @ said: “A Freudian slip, perhaps?”
        ——–

        Lol… yes… but “curse” likely prove out to be the more accurate word.

  5. Goaterguy says:

    They forgot their typical “By 2030″…

  6. Larsp says:

    If you are really interested in who lied about their emissions, you may want to check Wikipedia out: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_emissions_scandal
    And then maybe we can start discussing the future in a civilized manner

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Why the fake link? Is this some sort of scam?

      Here is the link to the real Wikipedia’s article on the Diesel Emissions Scandal:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_emissions_scandal

      1. Larsp says:

        Thanks. I think the difference is I pasted from a mobile device and thus got the mobile page – the content I believe is the same. In any case the article referred to by your link is the one I was trying to refer to.

      2. Larsp says:

        Yes, if you go to the bottom of “my” page and select “desktop” you get to “your” page.

      3. Larsp says:

        Incidentally, did you read the article yourself?

  7. stimpy says:

    Just because they promise the car will be capable of OTA updates doesn’t meant that:
    A) They will use them to add new features over time like Tesla
    B) They will be able to get around the complications of the National Auto Dealers Association in the NA market.

    1. CDAVIS says:

      @stimpy said: “Just because they promise the car will be capable of OTA updates doesn’t meant that… B) They will be able to get around the complications of the National Auto Dealers Association in the NA market.”
      ——-

      @stimpy, You bring up a very interesting point there… perhaps worthy of an InsideEvs article on this point alone. I had not before much thought about how OTA conflicts with legacy Dealer

      ——-

      @stimpy, You bring up a very interesting point there…

      I had not before you brought it up here considered how Tesla’s method of OTA prsents a conflict under traditional Dealer Franchise Agreements and also a conflict under several states prohibiting car manufacturers from directly servicing cars. The old addage of “cut out the middle man” seems to be creeping in for traditional franchise dealerships.

      Related:
      Tesla-Like Software Updates Put Dealers’ Profit Center at Risk: https://www.mema.org/tesla-software-updates-put-dealers’-profit-center-risk

      1. CDAVIS says:

        OP, … also please delete the duplicate “@stimpy said: “Just because …”

        Don’t know how those duplicates got there,

  8. F150 Brian says:

    Oooo all the VW hatred, when what they are trying to do is meet *YOUR* goals – EVs, Charging infrastructure, OTA updates. And they still have a chance to get from zero to reality faster than Tesla did it.

    As one of the top 3 largest automotive manufacturers in the world (at several points #1) they throw huge weight behind the EV movement. While Tesla is a leader, they are a niche brand, with aspirations to be a big player like VW and others.

    1. EVShopper says:

      Tesla I don’t think has any aspirations to be a major player like VW. They have aspirations to push, drag, cajole, encourage, major players to adopt and build EVs. Tesla wants to remain premium car maker, which by definition is a pretty niche market.

  9. Jeff N says:

    All 2017 Bolt EV have an over-the-air software update download screen on the configuration menu of the infotainment screen. GM supposedly has used this mechanism for updating their internal test fleet but has yet to actually post an update to their Internet software update server for normal customer cars.

    GM announced a broader vehicle software update initiative this summer.

    http://www.thedrive.com/tech/12916/gm-ceo-mary-barra-promises-over-the-air-updates-for-cars-by-2020

    1. EVShopper says:

      Thanks for posting that.

  10. Magnus H says:

    I doubt many people really would like OTA upgrades, an error rendering the car undriveable.

    1. William L. says:

      Tesla owners love OTA upgrades. It’s like Christmas days through out the year.

      1. EVShopper says:

        How did they like when Tesla pushed AP2, and removed features and made other worse?

        1. Nick says:

          That was a hardware change. Try and keep up. 😀

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      If discussions of OTA upgrades on the Tesla Motors Club forum are an indication — and common sense says they are — then happily, very, very few actual Tesla car owners agree with you. For those few who share your concern, they don’t have to accept any update they don’t want.

  11. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Time for all the non-Tesla EV makers to join in yet another chorus:

    Where he leads me, I will follow;
    Where he leads me, I will follow.
    Where he leads me, I will follow;
    I’ll go with him, with him, all the way!

  12. Four Electrics says:

    Tesla needs OTA updates because they ship cars before they are finished. For other automakers, it’s probably not as critical, but still nice.

    1. Nick says:

      Having your car stuck in the past is a bummer. The software on my 2011 LEAF is largely unchanged since the car rolled out of the factory. The infotainment system in the 2017 LEAF has much improved functionality, which I can’t have since Nissan hasn’t made the software update available.

      The Tesla way is much better.

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