Volkswagen upgrading Golf infotainment software and hardware

Volkswagen has announced it's upgrading the Mk8 Golf's infotainment hardware and software, though Australian timing has yet to be confirmed.

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The Volkswagen Golf’s infotainment software and hardware is getting an upgrade.

Claimed to be faster, more powerful and more stable, the German automaker has listened to its customers, with certain owners having complained of an unreliable and laggy infotainment system experience.

Based on the existing modular infotainment matrix (MIB3) that’s used in many other Volkswagen Group vehicles, the new infotainment hardware is set to go into series production “in the next few weeks”.

A Volkswagen Australia spokesperson said timing of Australian-spec Mk8 Golf models with this upgraded infotainment system has yet to be confirmed but isn’t expected before the 2023 model year.

They elaborated that Australian-spec Mk8 Golfs don’t currently support over-the-air updates.

Existing Mk8 Golf owners won’t receive the new infotainment hardware but will instead receive a software update where available, but it’s unclear if existing Australian-spec models will be able to get the software update applied at dealerships.

Volkswagen is saying customers will “instantly feel the benefits” when first interacting with the upgraded infotainment system.

Volkswagen says it’ll “actively approach customers from the beginning of next year” in regard to the infotainment software update.

For new Golf models, Volkswagen is adding a more powerful System on Chip (SoC), with a four-core central processing unit (CPU), graphics card and digital signal processor for audio.

Volkswagen claims this new chip unit offers around 25 per cent more computing capacity, with the graphic card offering triple the performance.

This should mean customer’s infotainment system experience is faster.

The company says for a typical navigation destination entry, the list of results is usually ready in less than five seconds, which is apparently “much more quickly than before”.

Another area Volkswagen has claimed to improve with this infotainment upgrade is the central touchscreen itself.

It says that when a user’s finger comes within a few centimetres of the touchscreen, the buttons around the hazard light switch will now block, and when contact is made with the screen the block extends to the sliders for volume and temperature.

Volkswagen says by adding this it should make unintentional activations of the sliders and buttons below the infotainment screen “virtually impossible”.

The capacitive-touch display will remain unchanged, but the company is adding additional infrared proximity sensor technology for gesture control.

Available either online or offline, the infotainment system’s voice control is now said to be up to four times faster to respond and react than before.

Volkswagen says when a voice command is made it takes less than five-tenths of a second to process an online request on the server, and the feedback arrives back in the car in less than a second.

It can now also be triggered by the “Hello Volkswagen” command.

Comprehension rate is said to be around 95 per cent and the voice control can operate the entertainment, navigation, telephone and climate control functionalities.

The voice control system can now understand conversational phrases such as “I’m cold” and respond as necessary.

It can even tell if the driver or passenger is speaking due to the microphone location and as an example, the voice command can adjust the passenger climate control if they were the one who requested so.

Pictured: Volkswagen ID.3 (left) and Skoda Octavia (right)

Volkswagen says the optimised system is capable of asking questions and allowing interruptions.

It also says this updated system will allow it to eventually integrate intelligent online functions such as news or weather reports in the future.

For now this upgraded infotainment hardware and software has only been announced for the Mk8 Golf, but it’s expected the ID.3 and the Skoda Octavia, among others using the MIB3 system, will eventually receive the same or similar upgrades as well.

Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the updates on Volkswagen’s upgraded infotainment system.

MORE: Everything Volkswagen Golf

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Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an emerging automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Jack recently graduated from Deakin University and has previously competed in dance nationally. In his spare time, Jack likes to listen to hyperpop and play Forza Horizon.

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