Smartphones and computers usually keep receiving new features thanks to over the air (OTA) updates, you don’t have to buy a new phone or take your old one to the manufacturer to get a new software based functionality installed. Tesla was the first automaker to bring this technology to cars, today, Volvo is doing the same, across its entire lineup, including gas and hybrid powered cars.
Volvo first introduced OTA software updates in their all-electric models like the XC40. However, they announced today that the updates will be coming to internal combustion engine (ICE) and hybrid models. The feature will be available in their all new XC90, S60 and V60 ICE and hybrid vehicles.
There are two types of OTA updates, the first is software OTA (SOTA) which mostly updates the entertainment and other systems such as navigation, the second type is firmware OTA (FOTA) which adds improvements to the firmware that controls the hardware. Tesla does both SOTA and FOTA, Volvo is following this approach. Other manufacturers such as BMW and AUDI only deliver SOTA updates to the infotainment systems.
According to Volvo, their latest update, which is their 8th so far since OTA started on their electric vehicles, will roll out to 190,000 cars this week in 34 countries. The update will bring the latest version of Android Automotive OS which is based on Android 11. It will add new app categories on the infotainment system’s Google Play store ranging from navigation to charging and parking. Later this year, video streaming will be added as well.
Included in the latest version is the energy management updates which will help keep the battery temperatures stable in both warm and cold weather to boost range and lower charging times. Owners will also see more frequent charging percentage updates during sessions.