OTA platform keeps automotive software current
According to Movimento CTO Mahbubul Allam, the platform marks the first time that the three key elements of data, security and OTA software management are brought together in a single platform. It is the first to make software updates of any car’s electronics possible, from the power train to the infotainment systems, in one go, including automotive architectures and modules from legacy vehicles.
It delivers multiple benefits to automotive OEMs and Tier-1 module manufacturers as well as to vehicle owners. All that is required is the installation of Movimento client software, from which OTA updates on any vehicle ECU are efficiently managed. This is superior to how car software is currently updated, which requires that brand-specific code be installed on every module — software that often is not even available for older, legacy architectures. “We can apply our update scheme to all modules of the vehicles”, Allam said in an interview with eeNews Europe.
The software is able to intelligently assess vehicle status before installing software updates, ensuring that data is transferred only when it is safe to reliably do so. This special bi-directional data-gathering capability reports vehicle diagnostics, prognostics and enables preventative analytics, which lets car makers react in real time to their customers and can provide data to third-party companies for insurance and other purposes.
The platform also boasts security features, continually protecting the vehicles from unauthorized access, relying on industry best practices and defensive technologies. It monitors the vehicle bus so that any unauthorized messages are detected en route and aborted within milliseconds, also keeping driver data from being compromised.
Movimento Group expects to be an active participant in this future market, drawing on the company’s combination of automotive industry experience and Silicon Valley software expertise. Having spent more than a decade working in pre- and post-car production, Movimento Group is the only company able to fully support legacy vehicle architectures. It has reflashed millions of vehicles and currently, Movimento OTA technologies are used to reflash more than five cars per minute.
The most visible benefit of OTA schemes is that the vehicle’s software can be kept current even after it has left the production line. In contrast to today’s limited after-sales software update schemes, the Movimento platform makes update visits at the dealership redundant; the software can be downloaded and installed at any given time, provided the car has the necessary wireless connectivity platforms activated. The update process as such is rather smooth, Allam promised. “It depends much on the type of software in question. Some subtle updates don’t even require a reboot. However, more substantial software functions like the ones controlling the powertrain behaviour or, more generally spoken, safety-related functions, require that the software understands the vehicle conditions”.
Another benefit of OTA in general: It can add new functions to a vehicle long after it has been sold. This is of particular interest for fleet operators. In the US, more than 50% of all cars are leased, Allam said. With OTA schemes in place, fleet operators can upgrade the installed base of vehicles, effectively increasing their value to the customer.
Also OEMs can benefit from OTA. The reason: The Movimento platform establishes two-way communication between vehicle and OEM. Thus, carmakers get much more information regarding the technical status of their vehicles. “We bring vehicle data to the OEM”, Allam said. “Thus, the vendor can create diagnostics an preventive maintenance offerings.”