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Kia Soul EV 2020
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Discussion Starter #1
Bear with me, while I sort this.

Things we know for sure (facts):
  • new car software with capability for OTA updates (new to VAG);
  • Stockpiling of cars (not unique, seems to have happened with other OEMs);
  • All 1st Edition cars to be delivered at the same time in early Sep'20;
Rumours/assumptions:
  • stockpiling seems to have been planned in advance;
  • software issues (rumours with very limited details about specifics). VW officially announced some missing software features at release of 1st Ed, which to me at least sound irrelevant (speed display and smartphone connectivity).
  • My assumption is that the cars are being delivered on time from the original VW announcements of "summer 2020";
Theory:
Assuming that everything was planned to deliver the first OTA capable car from VW, everything fits with a simple testing procedure of the OTA system. What do you need for a test of OTA: access to lots of cars, that you can check and verify the delivery of the update.

So, you need to build a large number of cars, stockpile them with a beta version of the software. They all need to be connected (smart at that point). Then send the updated software OTA. But you still need a confirmation of the test, so send an engineer to every car to verify the update.

But the OEM still has an issue with the testing, meaning that is has only delivered in a highly controlled environment. So, one more test is needed, where you release the cars with v1 of the software in Sep. At a later date, v2 is released which delivers on the missing functions. But these are things that the customers can easily verify and report in case of problems. This has the benefit of demonstration of OTA to the customer (shortly after delivery) and obvious benefits to the manufacturer.
 

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I think its simpler than that. Struggling with software so they delayed deliveries to save face. Throwing them all out from September only because of having to meet co2 fleet emisions before the end of the year, despite software still not ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think its simpler than that. Struggling with software so they delayed deliveries to save face. Throwing them all out from September only because of having to meet co2 fleet emisions before the end of the year, despite software still not ready.
It doesn't make sense. Especially with the current sales numbers. The CO2 fleet emissions were an issue before corona. Not anymore and according to the official sales numbers, all EU manufacturers, not only VW, are well clear of any fines. Check your numbers and read a proper analysis of this.

Delaying deliveries doesn't compute as in "saving face"! How do you figure that? And according to their original promises and despite Corona, the deliveries have been announced for Sep. Now, if they don't deliver in Sep, I will give you that's a delay, but everything seems to be on track until then.
 
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I think some of your assumptions in the original post might be correct, some might not be.

Who knows for sure though, only people at VW I expect.

This is an important car for VW, they are undoubtedly keen to get it right, goodness knows there are plenty of people ready to give them a kicking If they get it wrong.

I think clearly some scenarios might give them an opportunity to do things differently, arguably without dieselgate they may not even be pushing the ID line like they are.
COVID itself might turn out to be a ‘happy accident’ in terms of giving them some time to get things more right from a software point of view.

Personally, I can’t get myself worked up about the whole software thing, over the air updates or not. Maybe I’m a traditional buyer, but I’m not particularly bothered about that feature despite the T brand making a USP of it.

There are clearly perfectly useable ID.3s running around right now, they can only get better once the problems are worked through, typical for a new car designed from the ground up.

I just fail to get all the hand wringing over it all if I’m honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Personally, I can’t get myself worked up about the whole software thing, over the air updates or not. Maybe I’m a traditional buyer, but I’m not particularly bothered about that feature despite the T brand making a USP of it.
I'm with you on this one. OTA is not something particularly important to me.

But looking at it from the pov of VW... It is one of the cornerstones for this car; digital, smart, unique from all their previous experience. And VW have stated this a number of times.
 
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But looking at it from the pov of VW... It is one of the cornerstones for this car; digital, smart, unique from all their previous experience. And VW have stated this a number of times.
And I still think that will be the case.

When VW does something, even the bad stuff (!), it does it properly.

Despite the drag of the fines in the US and wider, they still have the resources to get the job done.

I hope they manage it, it would be a shame for a company to fail for trying to do the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You don't need to OTA test thousands of cars. You need to test 30 or so and then you're good to go.
Not realistic and extremely unreliable. And probably something a company the size of VAG can easily do and have done.

The only way to test real performance in multi-million population is test on thousands, even tens of thousands. It is generally in some percentage of the population, so I'm not surprised when the planned annual production of the Zwickau plant is 300k, and the 1st Ed is 30k cars.
 

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Didn’t some VW executive get demoted/moved/retired over this software debacle ?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Didn’t some VW executive get demoted/moved/retired over this software debacle ?
Which one... there have been lots of heads rolling over at VW... I think the latest one, got the post just a month or 2 ago...

And that doesn't give us any new information as the current head had no impact on the design of the car or its OTA system or the current software (that we know of).
 

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Which one...
Christian Senger. Member of the Board of Management of VW with responsibility for Digital Car & Services. Appointed 1st March 2019.
 

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Christian Senger. Member of the Board of Management of VW with responsibility for Digital Car & Services. Appointed 1st March 2019.
Apparently, Senger has also lost his seat on the board of VAG too.
 

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OTA becomes much harder once the software in the fleet begins to get out of sync - then you have to test multiple scenarios with different combinations of software at different points, with roll-back scenarios. Look at the difficulty that Microsoft et al have with their updates. At least VW are more able to build to one standard than is the case with multiple product manufacturers, but don't believe that all of their suppliers are providing hardware built to a single firmware.

I hope that VW get it right as the MEB platform is so important for the whole EV future. The (deserved) reputational damage to Diesel is one example of how a single manufacturer can banjax a whole concept by themselves for all manufacturers. Chevrolet's Corvair (aided by the despicable Ralph Nader) did for rear engines and air-cooled in one badly handled product, although neither was really the cause of the issues.
 
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