Real-time updates are critical in a fully-connected world

As the number of connected vehicles continues to increase, so does the need to provide real-time updates to the software.

Juniper Research predicts that in just five years, connected vehicles will generate up to 98% of mobile-to-mobile data traffic. The car is becoming its own breed of mobile device, as consumers are beginning to rely on in-vehicle features that seamlessly integrate and connect all their essential gadgets. Therefore, providing real-time updates for connected vehicles is of paramount importance.

With the continued rise of connected functions inside the vehicle, remote vehicle updating services (OTA) are needed to securely connect, manage, monitor and analyse software across all devices. These services enable successful management of all connected devices, regardless of pre-existing networks, device platforms or operating systems, providing direct benefits to consumers and OEMs alike.

>See also: Securing the connected car in the digital age

Delivering enhanced user experiences

While remote vehicle updating services help to maintain internal efficiency across the entire vehicle, drivers reap the benefits directly. In terms of car maintenance, drivers can remain focused on the road while simultaneously staying aware of critical updates occurring both within the vehicle, on the road ahead and in surrounding areas.

One of the most beneficial features that is managed and supported by remote vehicle updating services is real-time mapping updates. Using sensor technology, OTA enables updating map data for embedded navigation and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in real-time.

In addition to delivering accurate GPS information, remote vehicle updating services can detect quality problems at early stages, alert the driver of speed limit changes, approaching accident scenes and other traffic alerts.

>See also: The present and future of connected car data

Remote vehicle updating services provide the convenience of instant updates without having to manually update the software or hardware. It eliminates the need to take vehicles to dealerships for service updates, since all necessary upkeep of the vehicle’s connected features will be addressed on the spot. In turn, driving a car equipped with these capabilities will ultimately save money and increase efficiency and safety for all drivers on the road.

How do OEMs benefit?

While Remote Vehicle Updating Services promote safety and convenience benefits directly to the driver, software updates also help OEMs maintain connected car features more efficiently.

Whether it be on the production line, at dealerships or on car owners’ driveways, Remote Vehicle Updating Services allow OEMs to remotely manage all software-driven components, including firmware, applications, configurations, settings and maps on head units, TCUs (Telematics Control Units) and ECUs (Electronic Control Units).

OEMs that opt to use Remote Vehicle Updating Services are able to reduce production time and mitigate the risk of software-related issues. For example, remote vehicle updating helps increase production line efficiencies by reducing the time currently allocated for software flashing.

>See also: Connected cars ‘are not are not ready to withstand malware attacks’

The large amount of megabytes of code inputted in ECUs in connected cars require a flashing window on the production line if the process is carried out in a traditional production line manner. By using Remote Vehicle Updating Services, once the battery and the TCU are connected to the internal CAN BUS, any ECU that is connected can be updated and flashed remotely at any given time.

By optimising operational activity on the backend and thus delivering better user experiences, OEMs are able to uphold brand reputation and increase customer loyalty with less recalls and expensive hardware and software issues.

How secure are remote vehicle (OTA) updates?

In the age of hyper-connectivity, the question of cyber security has never been more top of mind for both consumers and manufacturers alike. In terms of connected cars, many of the advanced in-vehicle features consumers enjoy and rely on are software-based, which begs the question: can hackers tap into your connected car?

If a vehicle’s software and hardware features are managed effectively, it becomes nearly impossible for hackers to succeed. Remote Vehicle Updating Services provide instant updates continuously and have the ability to address issues or necessary upgrades in real-time, leaving virtually no room for software bugs to capitalize on connected car features’ vulnerabilities.

>See also: Connected cars ‘are not are not ready to withstand malware attacks’

One of the most innovative aspects of remote vehicles updating services is the ability to retrofit software onto any vehicle, despite its current connectivity capabilities and without the need for additional hardware investments.

These services also allow an un-connected vehicle to become connected. With this service, there will no longer be a need for direct contact with internet-connected telematics units, thus greatly reinforcing the security of all vehicle software updates.


Sourced by HARMAN Connected Services

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...