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GM needs to change the way they set and forget software in Volts and Bolts and be more proactive /inspirational besides fault revisions.

Look at the list of updates on Tesla's. (GM would expect us to buy a new car every year for the updates? something to learn from the competitor me thinks.)
Impressive new age thinking:

Tesla Added Features From Software Updates (see full list here via Reddit User AC1K)
Date SW Update Version Feature Description
9/23/2012 1.9.11 Added projected and rated range
Added Entry / Exit feature - Displays on and Media auto play for entry and decrease volume upon exit
10/9/2012 1.13.16 Added Driver profiles (up to 10 can be saved)
Added Creep mode (emulate automatic transmission idle forward)
Added Traffic lines in map
Added higher volume granularity
Added Lock and Unlock touch screen buttons separated for ease of use
Added Mobile App Remote Access
11/30/2012 1.15.14 Added cancel button to nav
11/30/2012 1.17.5 Added Vehicle sleep mode (reduced vampire drain)
Added App launcher
Added voice commands
Added auto present door handles
Added vehicle alarm
Added ability to switch between metric and imperial units
Added range mode
Added USB sorting for media
Added ability to call phone numbers from map screen
Added fan speed and sunroof controls to steering wheel controls
Added location aware homelink
3/13/2013 1.19.35 Added scheduled charging mode
6/7/2013 1.31.48 Added supercharger locations to maps
Added visited chargers to maps
Added battery charge limit slider (Standard and Max Range)
6/20/2013 1.33.61 Added contact sorting options
Added new defrost mode
Added battery support (will draw power from wall instead of battery for HVAC)
Added battery ability to heat from utility instead of itself
8/28/2013 1.35.107 Added wifi
Added tow mode
Added screen cleaning mode
Added radio presets to steering wheel controls
Added tracking modes in map (north up or vehicle up)
12/21/2013 1.49.57 Added Current anomaly detection (auto reduce charging amp by 25% if problem is detected)
Added wiper service mode
Added TPMS reset option
5/25/2014 1.51.109 Added RDIO
Added hill assist
Added smart air suspension options (auto lower for highway speeds)
Added home and work locations
9/4/2014 1.64.39 Added asian font support for media player
Added FOB reprogram/swap ability
Added slacker radio reset ability
11/19/2014 1.67.125 Added traffic aware navigation
Added Calendar
Added more power management options
Added location based air suspension settings
Added custom car name
3/17/2015 2.2.200 Added international OSK (onscreen keyboard)
Added trip energy prediction
Added TACC to AP1 cars
Added auto high beam to AP1 cars
Added forward collision warning to AP1 cars
Added energy option for battery display
Added smart preconditioning (auto warm your car based on habits)
Added reverse lines in backup cam (FINALLY!!!)
Added parkview assist
Added shuffle and repeat to media player (FINALLY!!!)
Added factory reset option
9/21/2015 2.5.85 Added trip planner with routing via Superchargers
Added range assurance
Added valet mode
Added Blind spot warning
Added AEB (auto emergency braking)
Added pin dropping to navigation map
12/31/2015 2.9.77 Added Launch mode
Added Clock widget
Added RWD Torque sleep
9/18/2016 2.36.31 Added perpendicular autopark
Added Homelink Auto open/close
Added auto brightness to display
Added Supercharger availability
Added spotify music service
Added Summon to ap1 cars
12/22/2016 2.50.114 Added supercharger amenities
Added automatic driver profiles based on key fobs
Added 2 car visibility to cars with AP
Added ability to name trip meter
Added swipe abilities in navigation
Added cabin overheat protection (cools the cabin if past 40C)
Added homelink audio tone
 

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Why didn't Tesla just test the software before selling a car with it?

Many/most the things on that list were working fine on my Volt the day I drove it off the lot.
 

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It is of some interest that $8000 worth of paid for options on brand new Teslas today do not function due to the OTA mindset.

That is, if something is not ready for sale, sell it anyways and fix it later.
 

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Facts are, it was claimed that the Gen2 Volt had OTA, it was launched WITHOUT Android Auto in which you had go to the dealership to get...
 

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I agree with the original poster. While it does not have to be as extensive or perhaps as gimmicky as Tesla, and perhaps not even OTA, but in this day and age regular updates should be standard practice. I also disagree with the mindset in the responses so far that software updates (OTA or otherwise) means you have not tested your software before selling it.

I dont think there is a software vendor on the planet who has not updated their software at some point to fix bugs or unforeseen issues. Admittedly some do see it as an excuse to rush out software but most simply release patches and updates to squash bugs that come to light or to add or enhance features. There should be no reason why GM cannot do this ... even if it were through a dealership rather than OTA.

I love almost everything about my volt but bugs and errors in the infotainment/mylink/carplay system are my biggest annoyance. I am currently experiencing regular freezes of the entire system when connecting to carplay and the only option is to exit the vehicle and walk away for a few minutes then try again. The bug means that even OnStar will not function ... which to my mind is a potential safety issue. A simple solution - a reset (reboot) option - would require such an update but this will never happen ! and because its both an Apple and a GM problem neither will take ownership of it
 

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I would prefer OTA updates for important software, but I don't think current cars are designed with that in mind.

I also think it is a legal issue as GM is not legally allowed to service their cars in most states, and instead this is done by the independent dealer network. An OTA update for non infotainment system equipment would likely be in violation of this.

I think if enough people pushed on GM they would find a way to make this happen. I think modern cars, especially electric, represent a very real threat to the business models of many dealers so there is naturally resistance.

I think GM should seriously consider a different brand and company to sell electric cars, spin off the Bolt EV, Volt and that entire division so they can play by Tesla rules. Also, I think many potential buyers have a very anti GM sentiment in some areas, especially coastal, that this might help eliminate.
 

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Facts are, it was claimed that the Gen2 Volt had OTA, it was launched WITHOUT Android Auto in which you had go to the dealership to get...
The 2016 Volt (and the 2017 Tesla) were sold with no Android Auto claims. GM did retro AA to the Volt. Tesla so far has not.
 

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Say what you want but Tesla has the right idea and GM doesn't... OTA updates are the only way to go!
 

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You do a disservice to GM - or other auto manufacturers - to say that Tesla "gets it" and everyone else does not. Vehicle software updates are not just an EV issue - software that must be "reflashed" to be updated is ubiquitous throughout the auto industry. Software re-flashing at the dealer service shop is a major warranty service cost and customer inconvenience the manufacturers would love to get rid of. OTA is a topic that all the manufacturers are exploring with major development programs. That said, there are significant technical issues that have to be addressed, including vehicle battery state-of-charge, data bandwidth and connection reliability, vehicle configuration identification protocols, etc.

Below is a link for a recent article by the SAE regarding OTA updates - The Challenges and Solutions:

SAE article on OTA software updates
 

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Say what you want but Tesla has the right idea and GM doesn't... OTA updates are the only way to go!
If your 2017 Volt was sold without the listed features you paid money for, would you complain? Or just be willing to wait for however long it takes to get your money's worth?
 

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Will Tesla stop releasing Beta products?
I agree 100%. Why offer OTA updates unless you are sellng an unfinished/untested product? BTW, none of my GM vehicles ever needed "software updates". You don't mess with a perfected product. Obviously Telsa Motors doesn't have General Motors' 100+ years of experience behind them. And it will take another 100 years to catch up!

BTW, any method to allow software to enter a device is a "door" for damages. GM products have their own code (IBM is the key supplier and the best computer company in history), use propietary processors or IBM MPUs (Power PC), and few outside of GM can ever attempt to break it Now after reading about all of TM's "updates", I prefer a GM BEV than a TM BEV.

I write this with my 44 years of experiences (working with computers since 1972), mostly IBM mainframes (from System/360 to z/10 zSeries), alll of the IBM PC and servers, many IBM Power series (RS/6000 to Power 7), many UNIX-based systems (AIX, SUN/ORACLE, HP, and Tandem), and many others including micros from the Intel 8008 to the latest Arduino. I have also worked with many operating systems since 1972, including all of IBM mainframes, all the IBM PCs, most of the Radio-Shack/Tandy systems, most UNIX systems, all MSDOS versions of DOS and Windows, most Linux-based systems (including Lindows and Ubuntu), and many others, even the rare Data General RDOS and Tandem Non-Stop Guardian. I have done thousands of OS upgrades and updates, so I know what an OTA update is, and I know the damage it can cause.

And I don't recommend it!
 

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Ford used to send USB keys with software updates. My current boss drives a Ford as a company car. The USB update completely screwed up his car and it needed to be towed to a dealer and it took them a whole day to reset it and fix it.

I hear constantly about updates that screw up phones or PC's. OTA updates for critical systems is worrisome. So from an overall approach I actually think GM is taking the right approach.

Yes I do wish GM would do software updates that apply retroactively to older cars to give them some of the newer features. But I don't want to be a beta tester like a Tesla owner for a vehicle I rely upon every day to work and be safe.
 

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What needs to happen is GM and other big companies need to cozy up with LG, Samsung, Apple, etc, companies that do literally 100s of millions of software updates on a regular basis without issue. The systems being LG in the Bolt EV are probably a good indicator that a lot of it is OTA upgradeable.

I would love it if the dozen or so software bugs (that I notice) with my Volt could go away with a software update without having to take it to the dealer that charges well over $100/hr for a simple software update, but being an "old" car, nothing but safety critical is updated anyway. Why can't my car be kept up to date for at least 1 additional generation via updates like my cell phone can? This question will be huge for younger generation.
 

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Ford used to send USB keys with software updates. My current boss drives a Ford as a company car. The USB update completely screwed up his car and it needed to be towed to a dealer and it took them a whole day to reset it and fix it.

I hear constantly about updates that screw up phones or PC's. OTA updates for critical systems is worrisome. So from an overall approach I actually think GM is taking the right approach.

Yes I do wish GM would do software updates that apply retroactively to older cars to give them some of the newer features. But I don't want to be a beta tester like a Tesla owner for a vehicle I rely upon every day to work and be safe.
Ford only allows the Infotainment system (SYNC) to be upgraded by the owner now:
https://owner.ford.com/tools/account/how-tos/keep-your-sync-up-to-date.html
 

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Why didn't Tesla just test the software before selling a car with it?
Many/most the things on that list were working fine on my Volt the day I drove it off the lot.
"Many/most" != all. Why didn't GM deliver a MyLink system that can do what they said it would do? Why do I have bugs in my infotainment system that have never been fixed? At least Tesla fixes things that get by testing. With everyone else you're stuck with what you got.

It is of some interest that $8000 worth of paid for options on brand new Teslas today do not function due to the OTA mindset.
I bet their customers are delighted by this, actually, I know I would be. If someone wants a Tesla now, they can buy one assured that some of the most exciting new features in development will be compatible with their car. They were told up front that those features are not available yet, it wasn't a bait and switch, and no one forced them to buy the option. The alternative is to have people pay $$$$ for a car now, only to feel left out a few years down the road when the newer cars have new capabilities. Would you really rather buy a whole new car again if those features were important to you? It's not like there is a competitor selling those new features right now; everyone is in development.


You do a disservice to GM - or other auto manufacturers - to say that Tesla "gets it" and everyone else does not. Vehicle software updates are not just an EV issue - software that must be "reflashed" to be updated is ubiquitous throughout the auto industry. Software re-flashing at the dealer service shop is a major warranty service cost and customer inconvenience the manufacturers would love to get rid of. OTA is a topic that all the manufacturers are exploring with major development programs. That said, there are significant technical issues that have to be addressed, including vehicle battery state-of-charge, data bandwidth and connection reliability, vehicle configuration identification protocols, etc.
Your entire post is contradictory. You say it's unfair to say other manufacturers don't "get it", but then say OTA updates is something they all want to do but haven't figured out how to do it yet. Tesla made it a priority and figured it out first. By definition, they "get it".


I agree 100%. Why offer OTA updates unless you are sellng an unfinished/untested product? BTW, none of my GM vehicles ever needed "software updates". You don't mess with a perfected product. Obviously Telsa Motors doesn't have General Motors' 100+ years of experience behind them. And it will take another 100 years to catch up!
Perfect? Lol, it's obvious you don't own a Volt. The infotainment system has many bugs, I encounter at least one a month but they are often hard to duplicate. Bluetooth works slightly differently half the time I connect (but I've found some workarounds). Fan control sometimes goes crazy (one press makes it go to min or max speed), no fan control at all (only once), center stack rebooted while driving (1-2x), etc. Not to mention the beta MyLink software that was orginally supposed to allow adding apps later and it never happened. I'd LOVE if an OTA updated could fix these issues, but they can't even be fixed by a dealer update. At least Tesla addresses and fixes issues... how can you possibly claim GM is ahead in that regard?


Ford used to send USB keys with software updates. My current boss drives a Ford as a company car. The USB update completely screwed up his car and it needed to be towed to a dealer and it took them a whole day to reset it and fix it.
That is the scary possible downside to these type of updates; it has to be done right the first time. But Tesla seems to have figured it out, so it must be possible.
 

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The 2016 Volt (and the 2017 Tesla) were sold with no Android Auto claims. GM did retro AA to the Volt. Tesla so far has not.
Correct, like many manufactures they have determined that paying the licensing for carplay and android auto isn't worth it...Tesla has it's own navigation which is interconnected with charging stations so using google/apple maps would be a step backwards...Many do not like AA/CP and I'm one of them, way too restrictive, yet the older folks who easily get flustered with electronics seem to like the simplicity CP/AA offers...The youngins, not so much...

The Bolt EV was supposed to have navigation maps with built in charging rendering the CP/AA navigation useless if you paid to have the navigation option...Like AA with the Volt, we'll see the future of GM and OTA with how they deploy navigation to the Bolt EV which has OTA...
 

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Tesla's methods are probably be a little too extreme but GM is on the other end of that extreme. Adding some simple apps (like Spotify) to their entertainment system should not be that difficult to do. They can have users register and agree to a Disclaimer before downloading and adding such apps. For more serious ones (like adding Android Auto), they can continue doing it during service visits.
 

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GM cannot effectively come close to what Tesla offers. Let's break it down.

Tesla makes the hardware
Tesla makes the code
Tesla owns the service centers
Tesla wants to push out an OTA update, it's developed in-house, tested, and it's done over LTE or WiFi. If something happens during the update, like say a door handle actuator doesn't take the new firmware, a simple 10 minute visit to the service center owned by the company that made the hardware and pushed out the code, fixes it. Easy peasy, and no wasted finger-pointing and little frustration.

And then we have:

LG or Panasonic makes the hardware
LG or Panasonic makes the code
Franchised dealerships own the service centers.

GM wants to push out a new software function.
GM has to contract the new code feature to be made by LG or Panasonic. That costs money, and time to test by LG or Panasonic, which makes a profit off GM. OTA is pushed via CDMA, 3G or LTE. Something happens, like the Infotainment system hangs and won't come back. Customer takes their car to franchise owned Service Center, takes a few hours to diagnose, takes a few more hours on the phone with GM HQ, tells the customer they have to have GM's engineers call LG/Panasonic's engineers to see if they know of this problem. They'll get around to it, in a few days or weeks. You can still drive your car, though. Once it's finally resolved, it's warranty work and the franchised dealership charges GM for the hours and hours they took to "work" on the car.

Now, do you see why GM is so reluctant to do OTA updates and why Tesla has the advantage?
 
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