German automaker Volkswagen has announced that, starting this summer, it will send remote software updates to all of its ID. electric vehicles. This process, already used by other brands -- including Tesla -- makes use of over-the-air technology.
Over-the-air (OTA) is a communication technology that allows access to SIM card data remotely, which, in the case of car manufacturers, makes it easy to send updates to their customers remotely. This means drivers can gain functionality without having to visit a dealership. For the manufacturer, this is a quick and inexpensive way to upgrade their fleet, while for the customer, it offers an effortless way of downloading an update, just as they already would for their phone or computer.
The first model to benefit from these OTA updates will be the ID.3, starting in July, with adjustments and improvements to certain features (improved surroundings recognition and dynamic high beam control, changes to the design of the infotainment system, etc.). The ID.4 and ID.4 GTX will follow. Volkswagen plans remote updates of its ID. models approximately every 12 weeks.
Earlier this year, Ford announced the implementation of a program for remote updates in its future models, including new features for varying levels of autonomous driving. With over-the-air technology, Ford hopes to simplify the integration of new features in its customers' cars. For Ford alone, this means that by 2028, nearly 33 million cars could benefit from this innovation!
This kind of service is likely to gradually roll out across all manufacturers, much to the displeasure of car dealers, who will be further sidelined. Indeed, many breakdowns or malfunctions can be corrected by this kind of remote update, available 24/7.