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Bolt EV to have over-the-air software download capability

Pam Fletcher from GM spoke yesterday at the Citi 2016 Global Technology Conference.

It was a high level presentation, nothing new, but there were a few good questions during the Q&A session.

Here's a link to a transcript (registration required to view).

A couple of quotes from Pam that stood out to me:

"Good question, so DC fast charging you get about 90 miles in 30 minutes."

and

"Yes over-the-air programming, and so the Bolt EV will have over-the-air software download capability.

"...we take [cyber security] very seriously and we really wanted to get where have got all necessary safeguards in place to do so that we would do over the air programming safely and securely and so that will come out on the Bolt EV."
 

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I wonder if/how this is different than the OTA updating that the Volt is capable of?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
She's speaking as if this is something they've been working on and it will "come out on the Bolt" so I assume it's new.

I'm guessing that infotainment upgrades will be possible. Mark Reuss said they won't update safety-critical systems OTA whatsoever, so that likely means no OTA updates to steering, braking and (I would think) the propulsion system.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tech-ces-gm-idUSKBN0UK2N620160107
 

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There are lots of things requiring attaching a cable to the Volt to reprogram. If all firmware of equipment is centralized and downloaded on a bus - then you can "fix" or upgrade a computer-driven component's firmware OTA.

Just like we upgrade Windows drivers constantly on our PCs - such firmware drivers in a car would be OTA upgrade-able.
 

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Really informative and kudos for her answering most anything. She seemed to not believe that her dealers have a problem; if she actually believes that I would hope someone at GM could show her proof otherwise. However she could realize the problem and be playing dumb for this session and really drops the hammer on the dealers behind the scenes...
 

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Really informative and kudos for her answering most anything. She seemed to not believe that her dealers have a problem; if she actually believes that I would hope someone at GM could show her proof otherwise.
Even if she thought dealers were a problem she could never voice that opinion publicly. It's her job to sell us on how great GM and its dealer network are. She wouldn't hold her position very long if she was in the habit of airing that kind of dirty laundry.
 

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Even if she thought dealers were a problem she could never voice that opinion publicly. It's her job to sell us on how great GM and its dealer network are. She wouldn't hold her position very long if she was in the habit of airing that kind of dirty laundry.
She dealt with other "hard" questions well, just seemed like she pleaded ignorance...With that being said, she may have limited resources to actually make changes to the current sales model...I'll just use an example, not saying this is the fix, if she thought giving each salesman $1000 in cash for each Bolt delivered that might not be something she could pull off...Same with the decision for the Bolt EV to not have a garage door opener (unless they add it at the last second for production) I think if it was Pam's choice she'd prefer it had...
 

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From Clean Technia


Chevy Bolt To Feature Over-The-Air Software Updates
September 9th, 2016 by James Ayre

Chevy Bolt CaliforniaIn keeping with its “next-gen” status, the Chevy Bolt will feature the ability to upgrade system software “over the air” as Tesla does with the Model S and the Model X (and Apple, etc., do with your smartphones, tablets, etc.). This information is based on comments made recently by GM exec Pam Fletcher at the Citi 2016 Global Technology Conference.

This is in contrast to the situation in many current models, whereby vehicles need to be taken into the shop to have the software upgraded. The over-the-air approach simplifies things greatly for both owners and manufacturers — making quick fixes a possibility when needed, rather than having to rely on physical recalls when issues pop up.

Though, it’s unclear how much this would be the case in practice with regard to the Bolt, as previous comments by execs inferred that safety-critical systems wouldn’t be updated over the air.

Here are some select quotes from Fletcher (coming to us via “Breezy” on the GM Volt forum):

“Good question, so DC fast charging you get about 90 miles in 30 minutes.

“Yes over-the-air programming, and so the Bolt EV will have over-the-air software download capability.

“…we take (cyber security) very seriously and we really wanted to get where we have got all necessary safeguards in place to do so that we would do over the air programming safely and securely and so that will come out on the Bolt EV.”

It’ll be interesting to see what the company ends up deciding to update over the air. Simply infotainment systems? Will the company move towards the rollout of adding new features over the air?

Overall, this seems to be a great move. As our first electric car report noted, many consumers have a strong preference for over-the-air updates. They are certainly easier and more time efficient for customers.

Photo by Kyle Field for CleanTechnica
 

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'as Tesla does with the Model S and the Model X'

For any doubters and complainers out there, understand that Tesla is the only thing that is driving the industry down the electric road. GM has relegated the Volt to the role of red headed step child...where were those updates for me for the last four years? Meanwhile, the Bolt is launched to directly compete with Tesla and NOW we get an announcement of this sort. My 24 year usage of the GM credit card was ended just for this kind of lame behavior. My X has a few issues, including some significant vampire losses; so Tesla still has some maturing to do and lessons it could learn from more established automakers. However, this new kid on the block is the only thing that REALLY matters as we want to move AWAY from petroleum. I love my Volt(s), and will recommend it over Tesla in some cases. However, I understand that it would not exist if Lutz didn't want some way to keep up with (or outdo) the little pissant electric car maker from California.
 

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Competition has always driven manufacturers to copy each other's features. This is a good thing. They should all copy the good features and learn from the mistakes of others. This is the only reason we have intermittent wipers, flat screen displays, sound proofing, etc. If Ford had never come up with the assembly line, who knows where we would be today.
 

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“We have Bolts rolling off the assembly line today, with retail production on track for the end of the year,”

If I were a pessimist, I'd take that statement literally.
 

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Dealers really hate it though, so there is a big problem for a dealer dependent manufacturer.


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In theory this is cool— but with everything on industrial hardware, I am always suspicious how robust or secure it will be.


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