Now, more than ever, we find hope in the old words: keep on truckin'. We shall. One day after launching a big update for American Truck Simulator, developers SCS today kept on truckin' with a big patch for Euro Truck Simulator 2 too. Like the ATS patch, this introduces their pretty new lighting system. Unlike the ATS patch, because it would be wholly geographically inappropriate, this patch also remakes parts of Germany. You couldn't just go and put Dusseldorf in Colorado; people wouldn't stand for it.
The new lighting has required a huge effort to tweak and re-do loads of assets, and SCS explained that "the majority of all our teams had to stop working on anything else related to our future projects" so they could chip in. The new system isn't quite physically based rendering but does take a big step in that direction. SCS said, "Cleaning up the old art and basing all light intensities and operations on fundamental physics make future systemic work in this area finally possible." They're clearly in it for the long haul.
They've finished one of their projects to refresher older parts of the game's map too. Starting in 2018, a small team have been redoing parts of Germany to bring them in line with the quality of newer regions. Today that wrapped up with "a complete reskin and rework of all the highways and roads in this part of our in-game world" as well as a redesigned and expanded road network around Dortmund, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, and Köln. ETS2 first launched in 2012 and has grown outwards with updates and expansions, so parts definitely have looked older.
See the release announcement for more details on everything in update 1.40.