At the recent Telematics Detroit Conference, in Novi, MI, BlackBerry previewed a new solution for automakers that lets them manage and deliver “over-the-air” (OTA) software updates to vehicles. The development of OTA services is part of the company’s broader mobile computing strategy.
Leveraging BlackBerry’s existing global and secure infrastructure, the new service facilitates machine-to-machine (M2M) communication directly between the automaker and the vehicle, allowing the automaker to easily provide software updates to vehicles in the field.
Vehicles have more computing power than ever before with complex environments equipped with dozens of electronic control units (ECUs) as well as sophisticated in-vehicle infotainment systems that can provide everything from 3D navigation to smartphone connectivity. The vehicle’s built-in software is an important component of the automotive experience, and software updates can refresh a vehicle with new features and services as they become available.
“According to a study Gartner did with U.S. vehicle owners in 2012(1), 40 percent of all U.S. vehicle owners either ‘definitely want to get’ or at least are ‘likely to get’ the ability for wireless software updates in their next new vehicle – making it the third most demanded automotive-centric Web application and function,” said Thilo Koslowski, Vice President, Distinguished Analyst, Gartner.
With BlackBerry’s new Software Update Management for Automotive service, automakers can manage and deliver software updates. Through the service, which provides secure global distribution and is scalable to support millions of vehicles, automakers can also deliver a number of new capabilities to customers, including software updates, new applications, and the ability to get the status of functional systems in a vehicle.