Rivian OTA Brings Better Range and Cool Winter Weather Features for R1S and R1T

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague
rivian ota brings better range and cool winter weather features for r1s and r1t

Over-the-air (OTA) updates have made it relatively easy for automakers to add new vehicle features and improve or fix existing functions. The technology is especially impressive with EVs, where companies can make tweaks that impact major vehicle characteristics like range and performance. With its most recent OTA, Rivian made significant improvements to the R1S and R1T, making them more efficient and friendlier for people living where the air hurts their faces in winter.   

Rivian’s release notes state that snow mode softens throttle response and reduces regenerative braking to increase stability and control. Snow mode also changes traction control settings and works with the auto-hold system to improve safety when stopping. The drive mode is intended for on-road use, so drivers heading off the pavement still need to use the Off-Road All-Terrain mode.

Further cold-weather enhancements include a new cabin preconditioning feature. Using the Rivian app version 1.9 or later, the driver can preheat the front and second-row seats, turn on the steering wheel heating, and activate defrost.

More impressively, the update package improved efficiency for the R1S and R1T. The R1T’s range improved from 314 miles to 328, and the R1S improved from 316 to 321. Those figures are for vehicles equipped with the quad-motor drivetrain and large battery pack. The automaker also offers a Max pack battery that delivers up to 400 miles of range. 

The update includes other improvements for the infotainment system, safety, and battery longevity. The automaker said the vehicles now offer data and privacy settings that allow owners to limit sharing information such as exact location.

[Image: Rivian]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 20, 2022

    As a two-time EV owner, I've never understood the value of pre-heating a stationary vehicle - all that does is burn kW in the interest of comfort; it certainly won't improve range.

    Remote defrost could save time clearing the windshield, but defrost is nearly instantaneous in an EV anyway.

    As for Rivian, the MAX battery pack remains vaporware. Also, hopefully they have improved their navigation - reviewers say it's terrible.

    • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Dec 20, 2022

      I figured it was to knock the chill off while it was still plugged into the wall. Once the cabin is warm the heated seats may suffice. I don't do it, but I don't live up North either. If I needed to thaw it out every morning I'd rather do that plugged in. People do the same with remote start on ICE cars.

  • Cprescott Cprescott on Dec 20, 2022

    One has to wonder how much EXTRA electricity is required to keep these batteries at optimum temperature in the cold? This further highlights why EV's are promoted with false economies of savings.

    • See 1 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Dec 20, 2022

      "This further highlights why EV's are promoted with false economies of savings."

      Everything surrounding the promotion of EVs is false. It's a house of cards.

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