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[YesAuto New Energy] In the current intelligent transformation of the automotive industry, many things that seemed unthinkable in the past are now being performed on smart cars, such as the latest NIO system that we will introduce today. The official claims that it can let car owners The driving texture of the vehicle suspension can be upgraded without leaving home, which is something that traditional cars can hardly imagine. So has Weilai really achieved this? What other updates are worth paying attention to in this OTA? Today, the editor will bring these questions to experience the latest car and machine system of NIO.

Starting from April 30th, NIO will push the latest NIO OS 2.6.1 car-machine system for its models through OTA in batches. This system update mainly involves the optimization and repair of chassis suspension, digital cockpit, and related functions. The specific content includes: easy access to the suspension, improvement of the driving texture of the chassis suspension, new NFC card key support, NOMI experience upgrade, and Experience optimization and bug fixes for other functions.

Before starting the experience, let’s talk to you about what is OTA (Over the Air), which is the concept that cars can be upgraded over the air through a wireless network. At present, the automobile industry can be divided into two forms of OTA, namely FOTA (Firmware Over the Air) and SOTA (Software Over the Air). Although both of them implement vehicle function expansion through wireless download, FOTA emphasizes the entire vehicle. Electronic and electrical architecture or partial electronic and electrical function upgrades, and SOTA is more limited to the upgrade of car entertainment system software. At present, all models of Weilai have FOTA capabilities.

◆Experience the driving texture of the chassis suspension

First of all, let's solve one of everyone's doubts, that is, how does NIO use software to optimize the texture of the suspension? On the Weilai ES8 model, air suspension and CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorbers are standard. The former can adjust the height of the suspension, and the latter can adjust the hardness of the suspension.

So what do they have to do with the texture of the vehicle? Let's start with the air suspension. It can adjust the height of the vehicle manually or automatically, and adjust the body balance according to the change of the vehicle load to maintain a stable body posture. The vehicle without air suspension will affect the body due to the change of the body load. The posture cannot maintain a uniform driving texture.

As for the CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorber, it installs a solenoid valve in the traditional shock absorber to control the damping of the shock absorber through the change of current, so that the vehicle can adjust the corresponding shock absorber in real time during the automatic driving process. Soft and hard, thereby affecting the vibration amplitude of the suspension when the vehicle passes through potholes and the supportability when turning, so as to improve the riding experience and handling experience.

Above, we have finished talking about the basic principles of NIO's upgraded suspension driving texture, so what is the actual experience after the suspension is upgraded? For comparison and reference, in addition to borrowing the 2020 Weilai ES8 with the new system, we also found the 2018 Weilai ES8 with the old system. Through the comparison test drive in different scenarios, we can see how the new and old models are in What is the difference in the suspension experience. (After confirming with the official personnel, the two models are exactly the same in suspension hardware.)

First of all, let me first talk about the difference in the suspension texture of the new and old system ES8 when the vehicle is traveling at a speed of about 70km/h on an urban expressway. Let me talk about the conclusion first, that is, the suspension experience of the two cars is indeed different, and the ES8 with the new system has a significant improvement in the suppression of large-scale vibration. In the old version of the model, the vehicle is facing a slowly undulating road when driving at high speed. Although the suspension filters the fine bumps more thoroughly, the large amplitude is more obvious. It gives people the feeling that the car is driving more “flicker”. And with the change of tire adhesion, the steering wheel will be more “thief”, reducing the driver's control confidence.

In the pile test, the sport mode is adopted. Although both models will increase the damping of the shock absorber to make the suspension harder to provide better support, you can feel the relative support of the new version during the comparison process. Stronger, so the shift of the center of gravity is faster, and the speed limit that can be reached is relatively higher.

In general, through this OTA software update, the performance of the NIO ES8 suspension with the new system can indeed be improved compared to the old version models. This is mainly reflected in three aspects. The first is the suppression of the swing by the new version models. It is more obvious; secondly, the optimization of suspension support has also improved the handling of the vehicle to a certain extent; thirdly, the feedback of the early suspension has become softer, and the overall adjustment is still more comfortable. Regarding the driving and endurance experience of the new Weilai ES8, welcome everyone to pay attention to our test article (portal: focus on the endurance test 2020 Weilai ES8 485KM )

We need to remind everyone that due to limited conditions, the old version of the model we compared has driven more than 40,000 kilometers, and the new model has a shorter mileage, so it is not ruled out that the texture of the old version of the suspension will be reduced. Consider this Factors, so our conclusions are only for your reference.

◆Easy access to newly added suspension

As a medium and large SUV, the ground clearance of the vehicle is generally high. In addition, the chassis of the pure electric vehicle is designed with a battery. Therefore, the platform of the NIO ES8 is higher than the ground. The elderly or children want to get on the car. It's too convenient. For this reason, NIO uses the feature of ES8 air suspension to adjust the height, and designed the “suspension easy access” function.

However, this function also has two hidden dangers that need to be explained to you. One of them is that the vehicle cannot detect whether there are obstacles under the chassis. Therefore, before we leave the car and lock it, we must confirm that the vehicle chassis has no protruding obstacles to avoid When the vehicle is lowered, the obstacle destroys the chassis.

◆NFC card key

Nowadays, with the intelligentization and networking of cars, traditional car keys have a tendency to be eliminated. We only need mobile phones to unlock the car instead of holding the key alone. However, if the vehicle cannot be unlocked with a mobile phone due to an accident, it will be more embarrassing if the user does not bring the physical key.

It is worth mentioning that the old ES8 also has an NFC recognition area under the B-pillar on the left side of the vehicle. Users only need to purchase an NFC card to achieve the corresponding functions. In addition, NIO also supports the use of Android phones as NFC keys to unlock the vehicle by swiping the phone. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the Apple system on the NFC function, the iPhone cannot currently unlock the phone with NFC.

◆NOMI experience upgrade

We changed MOMI's wake-up slogan to “Car Home”, but after the actual experience, we found that the success rate of wake-up was much lower than that of exhaling “Hey NOMI”. Changing other slogans also has the same problem, so I feel that the dual wake-up word function is not very practical. I suggest you continue to use “Hey NOMI” to wake up the voice assistant.

The “One Word” function means that you only need to say a word and the voice assistant can understand your instructions. If this function is not turned on, our past operation method is to say “Hey NOMI” first, and then wait for NOMI to activate , And then say what you want to do, it takes two steps.

◆Full text summary:

In general, NIO’s OTA upgrades and updates are not too many, but it can bring a certain improvement to the car experience. This is mainly reflected in the ease of getting on the car and the more comfortable suspension driving texture. Now, the NOMI voice assistant is more convenient to use, and there are more ways to unlock the vehicle. For NIO owners, this is a software update that can bring substantial experience upgrades, and for the automotive industry, it once again confirms the value of smart cars that can continue to evolve. So when you buy a car, will you take the OTA-capable smart car as your purchase standard? May wish to talk about your views in the comment section. (Picture / Hu Yongbin, Home of the Car)