Rivian R1T and R1S may operate differently after the latest software update

Rivian’s latest over-the-air update is being pushed out to its R1T and R1S electric trucks, and brings material changes to the ride and handling of all vehicles delivered to date.

“One of the key benefits of the Rivian platform is the ability to continually improve almost every aspect of our vehicles, including driving dynamics, which is a great point of differentiation available to us by having a software-defined vehicle platform,” a Rivian spokesperson said. Green Car reports confirm the content and timing of the update.

Rivian noted that this isn’t the first time ride and handling have been tweaked via updates, and that when new modes were added, such as Soft Sand and Snow Mode, these modes brought new ride and handling profiles. But it may be the most comprehensive round of “reset” yet in terms of how trucks feel on a day-to-day basis.

Rivian Improved Ride and Handling Updates – Software Version 2023.34.0

“We’ve improved ride quality across all three modes and ride heights,” Rivian said in the official release notes. Rivian specifically notes “reduced abruptness when driving over sharp road impacts in all three driving modes, and reduced harshness when driving over bumps and dips at parking lot speeds.”

What’s more, Rivian has once again tweaked some of the ride and handling that stands out for some modes – including increasing ride comfort in the multi-purpose Soft Ride mode for trucks, and “improving the balance between ride and handling” in Sport mode.

2023 Rivian R1T

2023 Rivian R1T

All Rivian models have four-wheel independent air suspension with hydraulic roll control. Air springs are particularly complex as each ride height will result in different characteristics, so Rivian is likely to face a daunting map of possibilities, and not surprisingly, they adjust system pressure and possibly anti-roll behaviour.

Rivian is also making a change in this latest update that could give drivers more reassurance that they’ll arrive with the expected battery state of charge. The driving modes of electric trucks are now also represented in Rivian’s mobile app-based trip planner. While planning a trip, you can select which mode you will use and charging stops and ranges will be planned specifically for that mode, as well as all other variants of the route already considered.

2022 Rivian R1T

2022 Rivian R1T

Automakers like Tesla, Rivian, Polestar, Porsche, Ford and others who have already embraced whole-vehicle OTA updates have heralded the mantra that it enables continuous improvement of vehicles even after they are delivered.

While that has already led to various tweaks to electric vehicle propulsion, such as greater range for the Taycan, better range prediction for the Lucid Air, an optional performance boost for the Polestar 2 – or a completely retuned braking behavior for the Model 3. Rivian shows off that tuning The actual ride and handling of vehicles doesn’t end at delivery either.

It also confirms something new for owners of these vehicles. In this new world of frequent updates, don’t assume you have to accept features you don’t like. Send a note to the automaker and it may change.

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