Vehicle integration

Automotive Over the Air updates - the new black

Written by Johan Andinsson
16/12/2020

Deliver extended value proposition and faster growth with OTA

OTA is a prerequisite and an enabler for continuous improvement and optimisation of vehicles. Not only does it mean better customer experience, it could also be a pathway to reverse the trend of commoditisation, writes Johan Andinsson, Automotive Design & Engineering at AFRY.

In the world of automotive, Over The Air (OTA) updates of vehicles are becoming the new black. The possibility to provide the end users with new functions is conditioned by the presence of a central processing unit. Tesla is one of the few OEMs that have one, giving them an unfair advantage on the market for now. This is one reason driving their valuation (Market Cap) to the highest in the industry (almost 2,5 times higher than Toyota who makes and sells almost 11 million vehicles more than Tesla).

Switching to a central unit requires a new electrical architecture and new subcontractors. Tesla introduced this from 2012, while other OEMs are looking to introduce this in 2024-2025 - 12 years after Tesla.

One of the main barriers is the legacy systems at incumbent OEMs with old vehicle architecture, something that the automotive startups don’t have. Also, the new players on the market have speed, forcing the rest to double down on their efforts.

New functions provide the opportunity for a new business approach. Especially since 50 percent of the expected future revenues for Automotive will be in service oriented value chains of Mobility Solutions and Connectivity Services. Look beyond the pixels, there’s so much you can do in optimising systems and attributes based on collected user data.

OTA is a prerequisite and an enabler for continuous improvement and optimisation of your vehicle. In other words: the car you buy today is likely to be better in three years. This does wonders for the customer experience, creates loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. A good place to be if you want to deliver extended value proposition and faster growth. This could also be a pathway to reverse the trend of commoditisation.

AFRY is collaborating with the Swedish Transport Administration and Volvo Cars to improve access and safety by using friction data from connected cars.
OTA do wonders for the customer experience, creates loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations.
So, how to overcome the barriers?
  1. Evaluate the maturity in your software and hardware. Is the eco-system ready for OTA?
  2. Aim at creating a positive experience for the user through technology.
  3. Invest in building from the ground up for collaborative systems from the beginning that work with OTA.
  4. In ECU development, avoid divergence and become coherent.
  5. Bundle SW update packets as much as possible.
  6. Discover the value of open collaboration, producing ever-more-advanced safe, secure systems and components that keep you one step ahead of the copycats. Parallel processing can yield quality and quickness. And additional service offerings. 
  7. Start with infotainment head unit as base, it’s probably already prepared for OTA.
  8.  Apply dev/ops in your process.

This allows breaking free from commoditisation and into sustainable competitive advantages.

Contact

Johan Andinsson

Head of Sales and Business Development, Automotive Design & Engineering