Vendors integrate to bolster over-the-air offerings and help car makers benefit from ‘$35bn savings’

Scott Frank, vice president of Marketing, Airbiquity

At CES in Las Vegas earlier this month Airbiquity announced two technology integrations with key partners designed to enhance its over-the-air (OTA) software update solution.

OTA technology is forecast to provide huge financial benefits to car makers in the coming years. According to recent research from IHS, global cost savings for mitigating software recall and cyber security expenses will grow from US$2.7 billion in 2015 to over $35 billion in 2022.

OTA will also allow the auto industry to achieve faster recall compliance times, eliminate consumer burdens of bringing vehicles to dealers for service, and deliver post-purchase performance and feature enhancements contributing to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

To find out more, Jeremy Cowan of IoT Now talked to Scott Frank, Airbiquity’s vice president of marketing.

IoT Now: For those who didn’t see it at CES in Las Vegas can you describe the aim of the collaboration between Airbiquity and Vector?

Scott Frank (SF): The aim is to enable over-the-air (OTA) software updates for multiple on-board Vector electronic control units (ECUs) using the Airbiquity® Software & Data Management product and Choreo™ cloud-based service delivery platform.

IoT Now: What has been the outcome to date, and how will it benefit your automotive customers? 

SF: The outcome is a demonstration that Airbiquity multi-ECU OTA software technology and cloud service delivery capability can successfully integrate with Vector ECU hardware and software technology. The benefit for automotive customers is the assurance that they can procure Vector communication ECUs that are updatable after a vehicle is built and sold to consumers.

Leading tier 1 suppliers like Vector will be increasingly required to provide remotely updatable ECUs, and Airbiquity can help Vector meet those requirements and compete for global ECU market share and revenue.

IoT Now: I understand there is some recent research from IHS on the potential impact of this technology. What are the figures?

SF: IHS cites a global cost savings for mitigating software recalls and cybersecurity expenses using OTA software update technology of $2.7 billion in 2015, growing to over $35 billion in 2022. Additionally, ABI Research estimates that in 2015 four major carmakers set aside a combined $20 billion in warranty reserves to cover recall expenses, and one third of those recalls could have been managed with OTA software updates saving at least $6 billion.

IoT Now: Aside from the cost savings, what are the other benefits of OTA?

SF: There are numerous non-cost savings benefits: 1) the ability to improve vehicle operational performance, 2) introduce new features and services, and 3) customise cabin displays to name a few. For the consumer, it all adds up to a more engaging, efficient, and productive driving and ownership experience leading to increased satisfaction with the vehicle and a greater likelihood to purchase the brand in the future.

IoT Now: Can you tell us about the work being done by Airbiquity and STMicroelectronics? What are the objectives, and what have you achieved so far?

SF: The objective is the same as the collaboration with Vector, only with a different tier 1 supplier and connectivity and telematics processors that power vehicle gateways, entertainment systems, and telematics and connectivity systems.

Airbiquity believes we can better serve the automotive market if we integrate our multi-ECU OTA software update technology and cloud service delivery capability with numerous tier 1 suppliers. By doing so Airbiquity will enable enhanced product capabilities across the broad ecosystem of suppliers that automotive OEMs rely on to build and differentiate their vehicles.

The author of this article is Jeremy Cowan, editorial director & publisher of IoT Now, IoT Global Network, and VanillaPlus.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

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