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Over-the-air updates will do much more than just update software

Imagine a typical evening. You park your car. You start a relaxing evening. Have dinner. Watch TV, read a book, spend time with the family. Then you get an email. It’s from the brand that made your car. “Good evening, this is just a note to remind you that we will be updating your engine overnight. If you will need to use your car between after 1am, please click here to delay the update.”

You’re not going out. You’re looking forward to a good night’s sleep. So, you don’t reply. You sit back. In the morning your engine will be a little more powerful and just that bit greener too. The new update will change mission critical components that, in the past, would have needed a lengthy visit to the local service station to complete. That would have taken up time – valuable time with your family at the weekend – and also meant you’d be without a vehicle for a few hours, maybe even a couple of days.

The dreaded ‘re-call’ was something you heard about from your friends and you worried that a letter or email would arrive telling you that your car needed to go in to fix some problem or change a component to be compliant to new regulations. Now, that fear has gone. Over-the-air updates have made them a thing of the past.

So, as you put out the lights, check the kids, lock the doors, you take a look out of the window at your car: it’s just sitting there. But you know that soon it will connect to the factory where it was born so that its engine can be almost completely reconstructed. You smile: it reminds you of the fable about the elves who helped out the shoemaker by appearing at night to make fabulous shoes. It’s not quite the same, but the image sticks in your mind.

In the morning, when you start your car, the screen welcomes you and tells you what’s new: an entirely new gear option – sportier, but also more efficient. Also, your engine is now 10% more fuel efficient. Have a nice day!

And you do. That simple story sums up the real opportunity that over -the-air-updates offer: you can get closer to the ultimate consumer of your product, create an ongoing relationship based on convenience and constant improvement, AND, most importantly, you can avoid the deleterious effects of a messy product recall. As Hugo Lerias says in our new Spotlight on automotive manufacturing, the technology can now go so much deeper into the mission-critical elements of a car that there’s much greater opportunity to avoid the reputational damage that can arise when cars need to be recalled. We all know the stories, I don’t need to repeat them here.

Over-the-air updates, as Hugo shows in detail, mean that you also save money on enabling changes or carrying out changes which, in the past, would have necessitated a recall. The new approach also means you don’t have to rely on the owner of the car doing anything to affect the change. It’s all controlled by you. You own the connectivity.

It’s about an enhanced and much closer relationship with the customer. It means that you, as the manufacturer, are the primary element in that relationship. It’s not the dealer or the service station, it’s you. And that opens up a whole new world of contact and interaction possibilities. It will help you deepen brand loyalty and enable new offerings and business models which generate revenues which were not available to you before. It’s also a critical element in the evolution of the autonomous vehicle.

Have a read of our Spotlight and get more insights into just how revolutionary the new era of over-the-air updates is.

Download the Automotive Spotlight here.

Visit us at Hannover Messe 2019 Hall 7 Stand 16 to experience the values and potentials of Quantum Inspired Computing – Digital Annealer – yourself. Get in touch with the most exciting innovation on computing now and find out, e.g. how you can improve productivity on shopfloor or organize Logistics on optimum and much safer.

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