Aside from the occasional map, infotainment, or telematics control unit update, most vehicles are frozen in time beyond their first manufacture. In addition, most of the software updates that are available need to be performed by a service center or through a at home computer with a thumb drive or SD card, which reduces the success rate of the update across the fleet. This is where over-the-air (OTA) updates come into play.
OTA updates have significant economic advantages owing to large cost savings compared with existing manual approaches. Since our last report in 2017, there has been mainstream market emergence of OTA updates in cars, particularly in the telematics and infotainment space. A major mainstream automaker, General Motors (GM) and Ford have announced that some of their vehicles will implement OTA core electronic control units (ECUs) updates within the next year, for instance. Along with these cutting-edge capabilities, dozens of automakers have adopted OTA updates for: maps, infotainment operating system, telematics firmware, and media applications, which are outlined throughout the report.
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