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October 20, 2021

Volvo OTA update adds EV range assistant

OTA update adds an EV range assistant that advises and coaches drivers.

By Graeme Roberts

US owners of the fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge can soon optimise the driving range of their car even further, thanks to a new Range Assistant in-car app that is released in a beta version as part of the latest over-the-air software update for the Android Automotive OS infotainment system.

Drivers can also expect increased range thanks to improvements in smart battery management and regeneration performance, as well as a smarter timer to pre-condition the batteries.

The range assistant app helps drivers keep track of available range and optimise it through smart energy management and advice on driving style from an efficiency perspective.

It provides a clear and accurate indication of the estimated remaining driving range and real-time energy consumption. It also helps drivers understand the key factors that affect their driving range.

A range optimiser functionality can adjust the climate system automatically in order to improve driving range, a feature that will be especially helpful on longer trips as it reduces the need for charging stops.

The automaker plans to continue development of the app to full release and introduce additional features, such as coaching of drivers with smart and easy to follow recommendations on how to adjust driving style and speed in order to maximise range.

The app will be made available via OTA software update to XC40 Recharge drivers and will be installed from production start on the C40 Recharge.

“Through in-house development of software and over-the-air updates, we can constantly improve our cars and make sure that an EV stays fresh,” said Sanela Ibrovic, head of connected experience at Volvo Cars.

The automaker has been offering over the air updates since the beginning of this year and they will soon become available in more models and markets, making the company a claimed industry leader in the field.

This allows owners to keep their cars up to date without having to visit a workshop.

Other features and updates in the latest software release include further improvements to the safety systems, new information about cold climate impact on battery range and various bug fixes.

Drivers will also see software version information in their centre display and will be notified via the app of a planned software update and can follow the progress of the downloading and installation process through app notifications.

The roll-out of this latest software update is planned to start immediately, with all applicable US models expected to be updated by the end of October.

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