VW ID Software 3.0 Update Brings New Features and Faster Charging

Parking using your own two hands is so overrated.


Volkswagen

Over-the-air software updates means vehicles can receive new features well after leaving the dealership. Volkswagen’s electric vehicles are set to pick up some hotly anticipated features in the company’s latest software update. The update also brings a boost to charging speeds.

Volkswagen this week announced ID Software 3.0, the latest system upgrade for its ID 3 and ID 4 electric cars. People buying new cars will get access to these improvements immediately, but owners of existing EVs will have to wait until the second quarter of 2022 for those bits and bytes to land in their vehicles.

One of the most interesting updates in ID Software 3.0 is the inclusion of Travel Assist with Swarm Data. It builds upon the standard Travel Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist to hold the vehicle in its lane with the flow of traffic. At speeds of 55 mph and up, the car will now gently change lanes after engaging the turn signal. It can also take anonymized data from other VWs and use that to, for example, know where to hold the vehicle on a road without a center line.

VW also added Park Assist Plus, which takes control of the vehicle to complete a parallel or perpendicular parking maneuver. The car can search for spaces on its own or help finish a DIY park job that’s already in progress. It also includes a memory function that “remembers” specific movements, in case you have a particularly tricky parking spot, and the car can repeat them later without driver intervention.

There are a few smaller upgrades, too. The gauge display picks up a percentage-based readout of the battery life, which is a response to owners who have requested this feature specifically. The turn-by-turn system now attempts to pinpoint which lane you are in, in order to recommend lane changes prior to exiting the highway.

While you might assume charging is a hardware thing, and thus impervious to over-the-air updates, you’d be wrong. VW ID electric vehicles with the 77-kilowatt-hour battery can now receive 135 kilowatts of juice while charging, up from 125 kW. Tweaks to the battery’s thermal management software should improve its cold-weather range, while a new Battery Care Mode limits the charge to 80%.

However, not every feature made the transition from the customer wish list. One-pedal braking, where the regenerative braking is strong enough to bring the vehicle to a stop, negating the use of the brake pedal, is still not available. That said, VW did say it’s on the way, it just didn’t say when it’ll arrive.

At the moment, the only description of VW ID Software 3.0 comes from Europe. It’s unclear exactly how many of these features will make their way to US vehicles. The US-spec ID 4 uses the 77-kWh battery (it has 82 kWh in total, but only 77 of them are usable), so the charging upgrade doesn’t seem like a stretch. The biggest question is likely whether the online data component of Travel Assist will make an appearance. Volkswagen did not return a request for comment.