Software updates for vehicles are becoming more common
Software updates are common for smartphones. Sam Abuelsamid, the principal auto analyst for Guidehouse Insights, said that it could become almost universal in the auto industry. Both automakers and consumers benefit from the technology. This is also good news for regulators and safety advocates.
GM has also implemented OTA functionality to fix car technology issues. The automaker is recalling 2021 SUVs and sedans sold by its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac brands in the U.S., because their warning lights may not be triggered by airbag failures. However, GM says that drivers may need to have their updates performed at a certified dealership.
A growing number of recalls involve car software issues
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that a growing number of car recalls involve glitches in the software controlling onboard computer systems. Such issues are easy to fix remotely using OTA updates that Tesla and GM have been implementing.
NBC News reported that about 63 million vehicles had open safety recalls but were still on the road in 2019. Automakers recalled close to 31 million vehicles in the U.S. for safety-related issues just last year. That was more than twice the number of vehicles recalled in 2010, according to the NHTSA.
OTA repairs will likely become more mainstream
The simplicity and convenience that come with OTA repairs can reduce the number of drivers who ignore recall notices. Since drivers don’t have to bring their vehicles back to the dealership, this can also help them save money.
You’ll still have to bring in your car for mechanical system repairs, but a good portion of recalls could be fixed remotely. Additionally, car manufacturers will be able to send new features to vehicles to improve functionality, as smartphone companies do for apps. With these benefits, you can expect more manufacturers to include OTA capabilities for their vehicles.