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Jaguar told I-Pace electric vehicle (EV) owners that it will release a software update that extends vehicle range by up to 8%, according to Electrek. The I-Pace has an official range of 234 miles, so an 8% boost would push it past 252 miles, bringing it closer to the comparable Tesla Model X’s range of 328 miles.
The software update facilitates the range boost by adjusting torque distribution, refining thermal management control, and recalibrating the regenerative braking system. Additionally, though I-Pace owners will need to take their vehicle to a Jaguar dealer to install this update, it will enable future over-the-air (OTA) update functionality, according to Electrek.
Jaguar’s software updates serve as a testament to the value of real-world analytics when it comes to software development for automakers. Many of the new features in the latest I-Pace software upgrade were enabled by the company’s collection and analysis of real-world driving data.
In particular, Jaguar identified the recalibration of regenerative braking, as being based on this data. The update’s more-accurate I-Pace range estimates are also based on real-world data collection, and the estimates are now tailored to individual driving styles.
Pulling data from Jaguar vehicles allowed the company to refine its software, and providing OTA updates will now help Jaguar ensure that those improvements easily reach drivers to improve their experience. Tesla largely popularized the OTA-update value-add cycle, which has enabled the automaker to wirelessly deliver autonomous systems updates, new infotainment features, and software patches.
Other automakers including Ford and GM have followed suit, and the technology will almost certainly become the industry standard moving forward. These sorts of systems help ensure that customers reap the benefits of software investment without having to go through the hassle of traveling to a dealership for an update, as was previously the norm.
By demonstrating a commitment to updating the software of already-sold vehicles, automakers can bolster the value of their brand and therefore future vehicles sold. Vehicles in 2016 had approximately 15 times as many lines of software code compared with vehicles from 2010, and factors such as increasing rates of autonomy will continue to increase software complexity, according to McKinsey.
This isn’t surprising when put in context of automaker expenditure on in-house vehicle software systems — Volkswagen, for instance, earmarked $9 billion to build internal software capabilities over the next three to five years. Because software accounts for an increasingly large share of vehicle value, customers will ascribe greater value to automakers that continually update software.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk even went as far as to predict that OTA updates could reverse vehicle depreciation by adding new features over time. Consumers will look to automakers’ commitment to already-sold vehicles as an indicator of how they will service a yet-to-be sold vehicle, thus driving up the value of current inventory. In this sense, customer vehicle purchases will function as a sort of bet on the future software development capabilities of a particular automaker.
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