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A well designed OTA update system should be able to update while the vehicle is off.
 

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A well designed OTA update system should be able to update while the vehicle is off.
It should also do it when you choose to do it, it should never do it automatically. Doing an update when you are plugged in overnight is just fine.

I'd really like to have OTA updates for the non-life threatening features such as the Android Auto server, I don't think they are a good idea for anything that might leave you stranded somewhere.
 

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It should also do it when you choose to do it, it should never do it automatically. Doing an update when you are plugged in overnight is just fine.

I'd really like to have OTA updates for the non-life threatening features such as the Android Auto server, I don't think they are a good idea for anything that might leave you stranded somewhere.
Yes, it should ask you if it's ok to install, then install it when the vehicle is powered off. Non-infotainment software such as those for the ECU should not be included with the regular OTA's, but should be possible to install without having to pay dealerships/mechanics.

A good update system should allow updates to be reversed. The system should also be able to identify crashes/boot-up failures and auto-reverse updates like what Windows 8+ does. It is very important that the infotainment system not be constantly crashing and causing distractions to the driver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, it should ask you if it's ok to install, then install it when the vehicle is powered off. Non-infotainment software such as those for the ECU should not be included with the regular OTA's, but should be possible to install without having to pay dealerships/mechanics.

A good update system should allow updates to be reversed. The system should also be able to identify crashes/boot-up failures and auto-reverse updates like what Windows 8+ does. It is very important that the infotainment system not be constantly crashing and causing distractions to the driver.
You say this stuff like it's obvious, but Jeep didn't think so. Part of it is probably that it wants/needs absolutely uninterrupted power to do these things, and "engine on" is how most cars out there (lacking the "plugged in" option) would address this.
 

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You say this stuff like it's obvious, but Jeep didn't think so. Part of it is probably that it wants/needs absolutely uninterrupted power to do these things, and "engine on" is how most cars out there (lacking the "plugged in" option) would address this.
It is obvious but that doesn't mean that companies that should know better won't do it wrong. Microsoft is an example of doing it wrong, Win10 forcibly updates itself, a user can restrict the hours of an update but they can't stop them from happening. On the other hand I can't think of a single Linux distribution that behaves this way, some will download the updates in the background but none will install the updates until the user explicitly authorizes them. I would like an OTA update option in the maintenance menus, to be specific I want a command that will check to see if there is an update available and then to install it. It should never be automatic and I'm not even sure if there should even be a notification that an update is available because that might prompt a naive user to install the update at an inopportune time.
 

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It's like anyone else tech related...

With the Gen1 Volt you interact with the infotainment with minimal physical buttons and every automaker already knew this from a decade earlier...The problem isn't necessarily that people hate touchscreen displays its that the experience of tiny screens, low res, laggy response, things buried in two or three menus/sub-menus does not yet match physical buttons...

In this case for OTAs, people want it to happen overnight with safeguards built-in that if your wifi goes out for whatever reason, it doesn't brick...
 

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It is obvious but that doesn't mean that companies that should know better won't do it wrong. Microsoft is an example of doing it wrong, Win10 forcibly updates itself, a user can restrict the hours of an update but they can't stop them from happening. On the other hand I can't think of a single Linux distribution that behaves this way, some will download the updates in the background but none will install the updates until the user explicitly authorizes them. I would like an OTA update option in the maintenance menus, to be specific I want a command that will check to see if there is an update available and then to install it. It should never be automatic and I'm not even sure if there should even be a notification that an update is available because that might prompt a naive user to install the update at an inopportune time.
Actually, Windows 10 did it right. So many times in the past, Microsoft releases a security patch either before or soon after a large malware outbreak occurs. Despite the security patch being available, many Windows users are infected because they haven't installed it or keep postponing the required restart. See: WannaCry

Security updates should always be required. Cyber threats against cars are usually rare and isolated due to the lack of conformity among manufacturers and models. However, as we near an era of 'connected' cars, security will become extremely important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It is obvious but that doesn't mean that companies that should know better won't do it wrong. Microsoft is an example of doing it wrong, Win10 forcibly updates itself, a user can restrict the hours of an update but they can't stop them from happening. On the other hand I can't think of a single Linux distribution that behaves this way, some will download the updates in the background but none will install the updates until the user explicitly authorizes them. I would like an OTA update option in the maintenance menus, to be specific I want a command that will check to see if there is an update available and then to install it. It should never be automatic and I'm not even sure if there should even be a notification that an update is available because that might prompt a naive user to install the update at an inopportune time.
I completely disagree with you about the Microsoft thing. Forcing individual users to have updates installed, informing them that it's going to happen, is absolutely in the users' best interests overall. "Not installing updates" is the absolute #1 cause of malware spread. Up-to-date Windows 10 machines were 100% immune to the WannaCry worm (the recent one that crippled corporations and hospitals around the world) a month before the thing was even released.

Cars, on the other hand, don't have anywhere NEAR the attack surface (the metaphorical ways and amounts of vulnerabilities that can allow an attack to proceed). Access to the internal programming is strictly limited: it's on a physical access only model, by people that have made significant investment to be able to do so, and (generally) happens only with software directly from the manufacturer, with enough testing that the manufacturer willing to pay for problems caused. Cars don't interconnect with other cars; they don't accept updates from other cars, and they don't even pass information about other cars along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
With the Gen1 Volt you interact with the infotainment with minimal physical buttons and every automaker already knew this from a decade earlier...The problem isn't necessarily that people hate touchscreen displays its that the experience of tiny screens, low res, laggy response, things buried in two or three menus/sub-menus does not yet match physical buttons...
*grin* Gen 1 center stack has like *30* physical buttonspots on it, and it's STILL not enough. (Even though two or three can be legitimately considered wasteful, like the AS1-2 and TP buttons...)

There's just too much customization available in modern cars NOT to have things buried in submenus...
 

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It will be interesting to see what happens when a major car company promises a feature in a "future OTA update" and for whatever reason, cannot comply. I would guess it will not be ignored by the buyers.
 

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I completely disagree with you about the Microsoft thing. Forcing individual users to have updates installed, informing them that it's going to happen, is absolutely in the users' best interests overall. "Not installing updates" is the absolute #1 cause of malware spread. Up-to-date Windows 10 machines were 100% immune to the WannaCry worm (the recent one that crippled corporations and hospitals around the world) a month before the thing was even released.

Cars, on the other hand, don't have anywhere NEAR the attack surface (the metaphorical ways and amounts of vulnerabilities that can allow an attack to proceed). Access to the internal programming is strictly limited: it's on a physical access only model, by people that have made significant investment to be able to do so, and (generally) happens only with software directly from the manufacturer, with enough testing that the manufacturer willing to pay for problems caused. Cars don't interconnect with other cars; they don't accept updates from other cars, and they don't even pass information about other cars along.
that is even changing with caddys v2v
 

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that is even changing with caddys v2v
It is unlikely that V2V technology will allow embedded executables or lack data validation like your typical desktop application does.

A bullet-proof app does not assume anything about the data stream it is fed, so corrupt data cannot crash the app. Nor does a bullet-proof app allow data to be loaded as executable.

We as a society chose to have malware. We made a conscious decision to permit it, much like we chose the digitizer (mouse) over the keyboard as the primary data input. By wanting executables to be packaged in virtually all kinds of data, and not requiring data validation, we have what we wanted. Simpler to use digital electronics.

Hopefully automotive systems do not take the same road. (har)
 

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It is unlikely that V2V technology will allow embedded executables or lack data validation like your typical desktop application does.

A bullet-proof app does not assume anything about the data stream it is fed, so corrupt data cannot crash the app. Nor does a bullet-proof app allow data to be loaded as executable.

We as a society chose to have malware. We made a conscious decision to permit it, much like we chose the digitizer (mouse) over the keyboard as the primary data input. By wanting executables to be packaged in virtually all kinds of data, and not requiring data validation, we have what we wanted. Simpler to use digital electronics.

Hopefully automotive systems do not take the same road. (har)
I agree with you on that
but at the same time some vehicle in front of you is going to tell your vehicle to hit the brakes with out changing any software
can that be exploited, only time will tell
 

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The way Tesla does it is the best of both worlds IMHO. It downloads the updates in the background and then the next time you turn on the car, it tells you what they are and asks if you would like them installed. I think that having to go in to a dealer to get upgrades is prehistoric...

I'm not surprised that Jeep handles it as they do since they historically have had the worst in-vehicle security among all the manufacturers and the worst reliability...
 

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The way Tesla does it is the best of both worlds IMHO. It downloads the updates in the background and then the next time you turn on the car, it tells you what they are and asks if you would like them installed. I think that having to go in to a dealer to get upgrades is prehistoric...

I'm not surprised that Jeep handles it as they do since they historically have had the worst in-vehicle security among all the manufacturers and the worst reliability...
It's not that simple of an issue. Sure it will update the car OTA. Let's say you paid for a feature when you bought the car, but it only arrives 6 months later. This is only possible with Tesla Style OTA at this time. Or the car nerfs the peak kW at Superchargers with a OTA. Or it reduces the performance. These are actual examples. There have been some features that never arrived.

So it has a system that permits both customer desirable updates, but also permits customer harmful updates, or even scams the customer out of their money.

It is a good system if used for good purposes only. It is not limited to good functions.
 

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GM would probably send you a tripple-honk update on OTA :)
 

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GM would probably send you a tripple-honk update on OTA :)
Historical reference: The earliest OTA update by GM was to their ATS cars in Nov 2013 that I know of.

A software update to the Adaptive Forward Lighting system of your 2013 Cadillac ATS is available. The update will prevent a false illumination of the "AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) Lamps Need Service" message on the Driver Information Center (DIC). The false illumination message may occur intermittently even though the AFL lamps are functioning properly.

If you affirmatively accept, the update to the headlamp control module in your ATS will be done remotely via OnStar¹. The update will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will occur during the overnight hours when the vehicle is not being operated (the ignition switch must be "off" during the update). Lights on the radio stack will illuminate during the update. Upon successful completion, your vehicle will be fully operational.
There might have been earlier ones, I just don't know.
 

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*grin* Gen 1 center stack has like *30* physical buttonspots on it, and it's STILL not enough. (Even though two or three can be legitimately considered wasteful, like the AS1-2 and TP buttons...)

There's just too much customization available in modern cars NOT to have things buried in submenus...
Missing some HVAC modes as early Gen2 reviews welcomed the increase in physical buttons...
 
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