Why your car will never age again: Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 get remote updates

It used to be so clear. If your car needed a service, you went to the dealer. Now it happens while you watch TV or sleep. Updates happen over the airjust like with your phone and your laptop. So digital.

Volkswagen shows us how such a thing works. From July 5, the German brand will start a trial with 3500 people driving an ID.3. Once every twelve weeks they receive a software update, which is sent to the car via a SIM card. In the future (if all goes well, this year) all drivers of a Volkswagen ID.3 or ID.4 will receive such remote updates. They are partly free.



Why your Volkswagen never ages again

Not only Volkswagen, other car brands are also working on a new way of performing updates. Until now, it went like this: you buy a car and choose the options you want. A fine navigation system, adaptive cruise control. The disadvantage is that the car is actually already outdated when you drive away from the dealer. In the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 you can also order options afterwards, from the comfort of your home. These are then installed in your car after a software update, while you watch the European Championship football or take a nap.

Some features of the car can also be improved in the meantime. The first update that Volkswagen is going to perform, for example, concerns an improvement of the lighting. After the update, the high beam assistant (which also recognizes people and automatically dims for oncoming traffic) works better. Also in the field of infotainment (music, navigation, Apple CarPlay) improvements are regularly made.


And the dealer? Is he unemployed at home?

You no longer have to go to the dealer for many things. The technology of electric cars is much simpler than that of cars with a petrol or diesel engine: no moving parts, hardly any parts that need to be replaced. Only for things that you really cannot arrange remotely, such as new brake pads, you still have to make an appointment with the dealer.

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How does such a software update work?

Just like with your computer. You will be notified that an update is available. You can download it at a time of your choice. The update just can’t take place while driving, just like you can’t use your computer or phone while it’s updating.


Is a software update free?

Some do, but for others you have to pay extra. That makes sense: now you also pay extra if you want air conditioning in your car afterwards.

We looked at Volkswagen, which will work in this way with all its future ID. models, but every car brand is working on it. In short, these are tough times for people who like to tinker with their car a bit.



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