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Volkswagen has started rolling out over-the-air updates for the brand’s electric vehicle lineup. Tesla popularized this service, so owners did not have to go into a dealership for a simple update. In the future, Volkswagen plans to offer autonomous driving on a pay-per-use basis as an added feature for some electric vehicles.

Does the Volkswagen ID.4 get over the air updates?

A Volkswagen ID electric vehicle
A Volkswagen VW ID.3 electric vehicle | Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images

Last week, Volkswagen announced plans for this at the company’s “Innovation Talk – The Volkswagen Software Offensive.” Volkswagen electric vehicle owners will soon be able to update software via the internet. In addition, transferring certain personal settings between cars is another benefit.

VW says that smart software is the key to the future of the brand. Volkswagen announced a variety of initiatives recently, and this is at the core of the process. VW notes that new software advances will help bring in a “new era of mobility.” Newer cars like the Volkswagen ID.4 and Tiguan will be able to utilize this feature.

“Volkswagen is on the road to the future – with smart software. This makes it possible to bring highly innovative functions on board the latest vehicles and opens up completely new possibilities. Software is becoming a new factor in competitive differentiation and value creation.”


Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, says that digitization is a game-changer for the brand. By adapting to software-based products and autonomous vehicles, VW plans to be ahead of the game. This is part of the new ACCELERATE strategy.

Using an autonomous driver for your Volkswagen electric vehicle?

Volkswagen says that the brand can offer the most up-to-date and innovative technology by adapting to this new digital era. In Germany, drivers already benefit from this with the WeShare electric vehicle rental program. VW hopes to offer drivers a variety of options with this initiative. Furthermore, this includes the renting of autonomous driving on a pay-per-use basis, Automotive News Europe says.

Klaus Zellmer of Volkswagen said that this might be possible in the future for as little as $9 an hour. This is incredibly convenient for people and a new way to generate cash for a company like VW. Volkswagen has dubbed this project Trinity and is aiming for the year 2026. In contrast, this will only be entry-level automation and will require a driver.

With the IQ. DRIVE program already in place in certain VW vehicles like the ID.3, Golf, ID.4, and Tiguan, level 2 autonomy is already a reality. Trinity plans to work up to level 5 autonomy, which does not require a driver at all.

The Tesla / VW path to success


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Volkswagen has been clear that Tesla has been an inspiration for the future of the brand. Tesla was the first brand to offer drivers the ability to update vehicles without driving into a local dealership. VW is implementing ways to do the same. Offering an autonomous driving option would be an innovative step in the right direction.

At this time, Tesla does not offer such a service. However, it does offer Full-Self Driving for $10,000 as an add-on. However, the electric vehicle maker was forced to walk back claims that this was fully autonomous driving. Without a doubt, the race is on for automakers to provide such a service if it does come to fruition.

Clearly, many exciting things are happening in the automotive world. Companies like Tesla and Volkswagen are full speed ahead. Would you consider using such a service in the future?