A software update for the Porsche Taycan will create a "digital twin" of individual cars for remote monitoring and data analysis, Porsche announced last week.

These "twins" will be created using data from onboard sensors, as well as information from maintenance and repairs, the automaker explained in a press release. The goal is to use data to improve individual vehicles and the entire fleet.

For example, a software algorithm could follow a customer's driving style and vehicle usage patterns, and recommend customized service intervals based on that data. Data could even be used to predict potential wear and faults of components, figuring out exactly when they need to be replaced.

The digital twin feature will initially be used to monitor the air suspension in the Taycan, notifying customers if component wear exceeds preset limits and advising them to take their cars to a service center for inspection. This initial pilot program requires customers to opt in, and about half of customers with eligible vehicles have so far, Porsche said, adding that only components directly related to the air suspension will be monitored.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S chassis

Porsche Taycan Turbo S chassis

"The technology will be rolled out via over-the-air update for the entire Taycan fleet with the appropriate suspension configuration installed as soon as we collected enough fleet data to make sure that the algorithms work properly for every customer," Porsche Cars North America spokesperson Calvin Kim told Motor Authority. The system uses sensors already on the vehicle, so no additional sensors are required, Kim said.

Customers will have the option to deselect data collection at any time, Kim said.

After this initial version rolls out next year, Porsche plans to add other functions, including use of fleet data to detect potential problems and recommend new maintenance procedures.

For the 2022 model year, the Taycan gets a number of small updates. Android Auto joins the previously available Apple CarPlay, a new paint sample personalization program is available, and software changes were made to improve the voice recognition system, charging, and thermal management. Earlier this year, Porsche also released a software update for 2020 Taycan models to add features from newer versions.