Swedish automaker Volvo is rolling out its latest over-the-air (OTA) software update to its all-electric vehicles to help improve range and efficiency in multiple ways. This includes smart battery management, a preconditioning timer, and a new Range Assistant app to offer drivers advice and assistance in achieving max battery efficiency. Volvo Group Subsidiary Polestar is rolling out a similar OTA update to its EVs, including the Range Assistant app.

Volvo is a global legacy automaker based in Sweden that most recently has been making large strides toward electrification and carbon neutrality across its different marques and production processes.

One of those marques includes Polestar, a joint venture between Volvo Group and Geely Holding focused on zero-emission transportation.

OTA updates are those that are delivered and downloaded over-the-air. The updates are delivered remotely from a cloud-based server, through a cellular or WiFi connection, to a connected vehicle. It’s the same process as an update to your smartphone or laptop.

Electrek has already put together a detailed breakdown of how OTA updates work and where each automaker currently stands in its capabilities, which you can view here.

Due to their familial automotive relationship, both Volvo and Polestar’s BEVs are based on the same CMA platform and feature a lot of the same technology. This includes OTA software capabilities that began in late 2020.

With the latest update to roll out, Volvo Group is delivering previously promised improvements to its vehicles’ range and efficiency, one of the ongoing perks of substantial OTA software updates.

Volvo range
The new Range Assistant feature embedded as beta in Volvo’s BEV infotainment systems / Source: Volvo Cars

Volvo announces latest OTA update with beta Range Assistant app

In a press release from Volvo Cars, the Swedish automaker shared details of its latest OTA software update. The upgrade to the infotainment system will now include a beta version of an in-house app called Range Assistant automatically embedded.

Sanela Ibrovic, head of connected experience at Volvo Cars, spoke about the update:

Through in-house development of software and over-the-air updates, we can constantly improve our cars and make sure that your electric Volvo stays fresh. The Range Assistant app is a great example of how quick development and deployment of new features can improve the Volvo customer experience every day.

The app will give drivers an accurate indication of the estimated range remaining on a trip and offer real-time energy consumption data, helping them understand key factors that affect range.

Furthermore, the new beta app features a range optimizer functionality that can automatically adjust the climate system to improve an EV’s range.

Volvo BEV drivers should see increased range improvements from smart battery management and regeneration performance, and a smarter timer to precondition the EV battery.

The OTA software update is rolling out to XC40 Recharge owners now, and should be complete by the end of October. The update will come standard on the upcoming Volvo C40 Recharge models.

Polestar’s Range Assistant app / Source: Polestar

Polestar releases a similar OTA software update

Simultaneously, Volvo’s Group’s Polestar brand also released an OTA software update today, delivering the Range Assistant app to Polestar 2 BEVs as well.

Similar to Volvo, the Range Assistant app includes a new Eco Climate mode that enhances efficiency by reducing demand on the battery from the climate system.

Battery preconditioning introduced OTA earlier this year is configurable in the Polestar app. This supports optimal battery temperature coinciding with Polestar 2 owner’s planned departure.

Lastly, a new battery preconditioning function is now linked to Google Maps. Now, when a driver sets a public charging station as a destination or waypoint, the battery will be preconditioned along the route to prepare for the fastest possible charge.

Both Volvo and Polestar have shared plans to continually roll out OTA software updates to keep their EVs fresh and efficient, in terms of range and beyond.

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