Smartphone updates are simple and stress-free, the update notification comes, you hit go and it pretty much takes care of itself.
That’s exactly what Bosch is working on right now for our cars.
The German electrical and component giants say soon, car owners will be able to enhance their car’s security, intelligence, and performance without taking their vehicle anywhere near a dealership.
“In a few years from now, automatic software updates will be possible in every new car,” says Bosch board member, Dr Markus Heyn.
“Wireless over-the-air updates are extremely convenient for drivers and Bosch is making these online updates secure and fast,”
Before your car can ‘update itself’, car manufacturers need to build in the capability for the vehicle to head into the cloud, get what it needs and then complete the process.
And that’s a lot closer than you might think. Cars like the new BMW 5 Series already have a mobile phone-type SIM card installed that allows for infotainment system updates on the go.
But what about security? Can these systems be hacked? And what if the car updates itself while you’re driving?
Bosch say they’ve covered all these issue by way of a function that requires the car owner to approve any updates (via their smartphone) before they occur.
On the driver’s smartphone or the car’s infotainment system, the online security updates are started and any new functions that need to be downloaded are selected.
This information is sent to the cloud, which acts like a kind of app store, holding the updates in readiness and starting the process of downloading software to the vehicle.
The data can either be downloaded in the background while the car is moving, or overnight when it is parked in its garage.
As soon as the vehicle is in a secure condition, the software updates are installed on the appropriate control units, where they are immediately activated.
And there could be another time saving aspect for car owners through the ‘over the air’ updates – many recalls (approximately 15%) today simply require a software update.
With this technology, you can get your car up to scratch without wasting time taking it to the workshop.
“For automakers and their customers alike, such repair-shop visits are a huge waste of time and money, and online updates can significantly reduce this,” Heyn says.
We will keep you updated as further info on this technology comes to hand.