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Volkswagen launches over-the-air updates for the ID. EV family

Volkswagen is taking its next step towards becoming a software-oriented mobility provider; starting this summer, the brand will regularly send over-the-air (OTA) software updates to models in the ID. electric vehicle family. The first model to benefit is the ID.3. The latest software version ID.Software2.3 will be delivered to “First Movers Club” customers via mobile data transfer in July 2021.

The update includes adjustments and improvements to operations, performance and comfort. Updates for all ID.3, ID.4 and ID.4 GTX customers will follow gradually. In the future, Volkswagen will update the software in its ID. cars every twelve weeks.


The first update for the all-electric ID. models comes with many functional improvements: these include enhanced ID. Light functionalities; optimized surroundings recognition and dynamic main beam control; improved operability and design modifications for the infotainment system; as well as performance and stability improvements.

The software updates are delivered via mobile data transfer, straight to the central high-performance computers in the ID. models (In Car Application Server, ICAS for short). In the case of cars based on the modern MEB platform, these take on functions that were previously distributed across a number of control units in earlier vehicle generations.

The new electronics architecture is not only more powerful and intelligent, it also simplifies the exchange of data and functions between systems in the car. This makes it possible to reach and update up to 35 control units via the Over-the-Air Updates.

Cars that always have the latest software on board and offer an excellent digital customer experience are extremely important for the future success of the Volkswagen brand. We established the agile project unit ID. Digital specifically to enable us to continuously update software in the car. As such, we are able to quickly gather customer feedback and react flexibly to customer requirements. This means the ID. models remain constantly up to date after delivery, and customer cars retain their value better.

—Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Board of Management for Development at Volkswagen

The driving force behind the digitalization of the brand is the close cooperation between ID. Digital and CARIAD, the Volkswagen Group’s car software organization.

Over-the-Air Updates are a central functionality of the digital, connected car. They will become the norm for customers—just like downloading the latest operating system or apps on your smartphone.

—Dirk Hilgenberg, CARIAD CEO

With Over-the-Air Updates of the software, the Volkswagen brand is laying the foundations for new business models as laid out in the ACCELERATE strategy. In the future, customers will no longer need to decide on functions for their car when purchasing the car or which configuration will make for a higher resale value. This is because the hardware will be standardized to a great extent. In the future, additional functions and innovative technology can be added later via software updates.


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