Currently reading: Volkswagen launches first over-the-air ID 3 update
Manufacturer will offer quarterly software upgrades with the ability to buy extra services in the future

Volkswagen will roll out the first over-the-air software updates for the ID 3 and ID 4 starting this month, with the plan to offer quarterly updates for all of its EVs from now on.

The updates are a key step in Volkswagen's renewed focus on software and will be key in the firm being able to charge money for extra services in the future.

The initial update will first be sent to the first ID 3s that were sold, whose owners are part of the First Movers Club. Due to software issues during the launch of the hatchback, some cars were sold without all of the originally intended functions. Updates will then follow for other ID 3s and for the ID 4 SUV.

The initial update will upgrade the ID 3’s system to ID.Software 2.3 and will include a range of new functions. These will include upgrades to the Dynamic Light Assist’s automative main-beam control function, dashboard-mounted ID Light bar so that its will use light signals to offer tips on driving more efficiently and refinements to the infotainment touchscreen interface.

The updates will automatically be sent to cars through the built-in internet, with owners able to choose when they install the upgrade. The download will occur in the background, but drivers won't be able to use the car while its installed. Owners must have a registered account with Volkswagen to receive updates.

In the future, Volkswagen will be able to update 35 control units on ID models.

Silke Bagschik, Volkswagen’s e-mobility sales boss, said Volkswagen had an extensive list of software upgrades planned, with the goal to balance each update to ensure it was a manageable size. 

She said: “We have a long wish list of ideas based on listening to feedback on what customers want, and we have some cool ideas coming from within the company.”

Back to top

While the first updates will be free, Bagschik confirmed that future updates will offer paid-for upgrades.

“In the future, there will be some functions that we say ‘this will be worth some money’ and people will be happy to spend some money,” said Bagschik. “This is a valuable part of our business money - but right now we don’t have a firm date for the first functions that people will pay for.”

Badschik declined to specify particular upgrades that Volkswagen could charge for in the future but said that they could include extra range and charging times, custom screens and new light signatures.


New entry-level Volkswagen ID 3 launched with 217-mile range

Road test review: Volkswagen ID 3

New Volkswagen ID 3: cheaper 'Pro' motor option goes on sale

Join the debate

Add a comment…
gagaga 11 July 2021

Good software is really, really hard.  And eye wateringly expensive.  BMW have done well with their system spreading the cost, but i'm sure they shiver when they see the total of what it's cost over the years.

Expect many manufacturers (to do deals with Google for their platform, adding their own store to sell the added value stuff/

fellwalker 6 July 2021

This feels like planning for a future of extortion. Not only do you buy the car but you have to pay for the software that makes it move. In-app purchases as it were.

No doubt the claim will be that the operating system will be updated freely. For a period of 3 years, same as the warranty period? Perhaps extended from year to year so long as you have the car serviced at a main dealer?

If its anything like the abysmal apps that VW encouraged me to use then heaven help us all. One them through the OBD port couldn't even get the refuelling volume correct and I've no idea what year its pricing was from - well below actual.

Then there was the service "booking' that when it finally worked turned out to only be a request for the dealer to ring you! And the section for storing information about the car. If you put your tyre info in it was supposed to remind you of potential replacement. It wouldn't even accept the DOT code properly as it told me they were a different year. VW support were very friendly but useless. It was eventually withdrawn. 

The we connect app would let you choose a destination using Google maps, and send that to your car. But your car maps are supplied by Here! Some functions stopped working after the initial included 3 years. 

Sorry I'm so negative but car software is so desperately poor. 

superstevie 5 July 2021

@scrap, that is exactly what they are doing...