If you drive a new Volvo, your car might be a bit better today than it was last week. This week, the Swedish automaker announced that it would start sending over-the-air (OTA) updates to some of its vehicles in the United States this week. These will be the first OTA software updates that Volvo Car US has ever delivered to customers. Volvo, and its now-all-electric sister brand, Polestar, sent out OTA updates to vehicles in other global regions earlier this year.
Models to be updated include the all-electric XC40 Recharge SUV as well as the XC60, XC60 Recharge, and the 2022 XC60 Polestar Engineered equipped with Google built-in. Volvo said the updates would be available in select 2021 and 2022 model-year versions of these vehicles.
The updated Volvos will get software version 1.7, which includes SiriusXM satellite radio on eligible Volvos, and, for the all-electric Volvos, a range boost thanks to updated propulsion software. Volvo said bug fixes and enhancements to the infotainment system are also part of the OTA update. Drivers of eligible Volvos will get a notification on their vehicles' screens when the automatic software update is available to download and install.
The XC40 Recharge electric SUV will go further on a full charge thanks to better smart battery management and regenerative braking performance. The cold-weather pre-conditioner for the traction battery has also been improved with a more intelligent timer. The electric vehicles' (EV) companion Range Assistant app can also help extend the driving range by providing owners with advice on driving more efficiently. Volvo announced the beta version of the in-vehicle app earlier this month.
"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," said Sanela Ibrovic, head of connected experience at Volvo Cars, in a statement. "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."
This won't be the last time Volvo vehicles improve over time, especially regarding upgraded EVs that are already in people's driveways. Volvo Cars previously announced it wants at least half of its new-car sales to be all-electric by 2025, part of a broader plan to get a million electrified cars on the road by that year.