Wireless updates have been an integral part of the smartphone experience for years – you have all the apps and even the phone system itself updated to the latest version seamlessly without effort.
The same feature has started to appear in today’s highly technological autos – one of the most prominent backers of the technology being Tesla Motors. The youngest publicly traded US automaker has been distributing software wirelessly to the owners of its Model S luxury sedan for some time now. That means updating to the new Pilot program – which enables semi-autonomous driving on highways – will not have any owner going to the dealer. More and more automakers are also joining the “wireless” trend as a way of easily sending updates and new features to their vehicles.
According to a new study on the technology done by IHS Automotive, the trend could deliver savings worth billions to the carmakers while improving overall customer satisfaction. Still, the over-the-air technology can also become a threat as hackers are increasingly turning their attention towards the automobile. “It is clear that OEM (original equipment manufacturers) cost savings from over-the-air software updates will be the most valuable part of this technology — by far,” commented Egil Juliussen, a principal analyst of automotive technology at IHS Automotive.
Customers could be saved the trip to the dealer for some repairs, done through over-the-air updates and that could make the difference in today’s auto market that has taken the number of safety-related recalls to a new record. As the complexity of new vehicles increases, forecasted savings from using over the air updates could jump from $2.7 billion in 2015 to at least $35 billion in 2022.