Electric Vehicles

Apple WWDC: Electric vehicle routing options added to Apple Maps in iOS 14

Electirc vehicle drivers will be able to utilize new Apple Maps functionality to help with route planning.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple Maps is getting a bigger upgrade as part of iOS 14 than Apple CarPlay. The mapping app, which has to compete with Google Maps on users phones, is getting a host of significant additions with worldwide user implications as announced at today's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

The iOS 14 version of Apple Maps will include guides from companies including Zagat and AllTrails. it will provide suggestions for users looking to lessen their carbon footprint.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 Maps Maps now includes guides for users.Photo courtesy of Apple

Cycling is added to the list of transportation options. With this choice, users are able to get a route that includes bike lanes, paths, and roads. The system takes changes in altitude into account, as well as the traffic situation on roads (busy vs quiet). Users can denote whether they want to carry their bicycle up stairs as part of their route or avoid stairs altogether. This addition rolls out to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Beijing first. Additional city rollouts are planned.

Electric vehicle drivers can choose EV Routing for their Maps usage. Using that option, Maps will track your vehicle's current charge and will keep track of which chargers your vehicle is compatible with to ensure when you stop to charge, your vehicle is compatible with what's available.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 Maps Technology that takes into account restricted driving zones is currently in development.Photo courtesy of Apple

The route mapping system also takes into account electric range and charging stations to find the optional route.

EV Routing functionality will first roll out in the BMW i4 as well as the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Further, Apple is working on a solution to integrate Congestion and Green Zone information and support into the app allowing for alternative routes for cities that restrict travel for some drivers in certain areas. These types of restrictions are typically found in Europe and Asia.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 Maps EV charging is now considered as part of route mapping. Opting for that functionality shows where charging is along your way.Photo courtesy of Apple

At WWDC, Apple also announced a new NFC solution called ACarKey, which allows owners to use their phone as a key to get into and operate their vehicle, as well as a refreshed version of Apple CarPlay.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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