VW continues to push back EV debut until 2027 due to editing software issues
A number of Volkswagen subsidiaries are to push back the release dates of their new electric vehicles until 2027. Audi, Porsche and Bentley are all to reset key electric vehicle introductions. The culprit is that VW subsidiary Cariad’s software technology isn’t ready for prime time. With VW CEO Herbert Diess saying last month that he would overtake Tesla by 2024, those dreams now look very dubious.
Why does VW have so many problems with software development?
While companies like Volkswagen have decades of manufacturing know-how, that doesn’t necessarily translate to instant EV dominance. At least not with the software needed to back it up. And the problems at Cariad are extreme enough to push back some EV introductions by three years.
Project Artemis is Audi’s platform for developing many electric vehicles, including its flagship Landjet, due out in 2024. Well, it was planned then. Now 2027 is the new launch date, according to Automobilwoche. Touted as having Level 4 autonomous capabilities, Cariad’s development of autonomous technology is far behind.
Now Audi is considering an interim electric vehicle that it internally calls Landyacht. It would debut in 2025. But it was originally meant to debut in 2021, with updated software currently in Audi’s power inlets. But Porsche and Bentley face similar issues with future vehicle launches.
What about Porsche and Bentley electric vehicles?
Porsche’s new Macan was due to launch ahead of Audi’s Q6 e-Tron, originally slated for this time next year. A Porsche insider told Automobilwoche: “The hardware is great, but the software is still lacking.” This is now a common response to the development of new electric vehicles. As for Bentley, its mandate to be all-electric by 2030 seems impossible.
To hedge its bets, Volkswagen announced earlier this year a new partnership with Bosch for software that will help it bridge the gap caused by Cariad. To save face, VW says Bosch will only develop software for Level 3 automation. Self-evolutionVW is awaiting further plans from Cariad moving forward.
This isn’t the first software issue plaguing Volkswagen. Its first EV, the ID.3, had a series of software problems, starting before they even left the factory. VW built unfinished ID.3 sedans, then stored them until the latent software could be installed. The first completed cars began to be delivered to buyers in September 2020.
Problems with ID.3 software were widespread
Dashcams turning off, navigation bugs, keyless entry issues, pop-ups telling the driver to go to a dealership, these were just a handful of issues that early ID owners faced. .3 were facing. VW told reporters that buyers were told they could expect software updates to come in January 2021, but opted to take deliveries earlier.
We can therefore assume that these first Volkswagen ID.3s used beta software. To its credit, VW offered free recharging, free winter tires and no payments for three months to alleviate the problems owners were having. And many owners found them.
Artificial intelligence isn’t the same as building a better engine, and that’s the hurdle traditional automakers face. In the meantime, Tesla continues on its way. Remember, he never said it was a car manufacturer. Rooted in Silicon Valley software development, he always said it was a car-making software company. VW discovers that this distinction is more prescient than it could have imagined.
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