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GM (others?) prohibited from utilizing OTA upgrades?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by Footbag, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Footbag

    Footbag Member

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    Hmm interesting. One of Tesla's best features, the ability to add features and make changes to the car OTA (over the air), was one I thought sure was going to be copied by all the other auto manufactures. Apparently not. It appears that at CES GM let slip a key disadvantage of its dealer network, that it specifically disallows OTA upgrades, the dealers must be the ones to program the car.
    While I'm sure at some point that restriction will get modified, Tesla will have built themselves quite the lead in perfecting that key ability.
    http://www.streetinsider.com/dr/news.php?id=11202274
     
  2. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Sweet! I loathe GM with a hatred justified by a vehicle purchase, and their deep down desire to kill people. Good riddance.
     
  3. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    What is meant in the article by Dealership Network Rules? Is this the state dealer franchise laws, which would vary by state, or is it the contract GM has with its dealers? I very much doubt that dealer franchise laws written decades ago address the topic of software updates, and if it's dealer contracts couldn't those be renegotiated?
     
  4. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    this is an example of the traditional car manufacturer model and why tesla is different
     
  5. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    While the original franchise laws definitely wouldn't have had OTA rules, we've seen the dealers move pretty quickly in changing those laws when they see a threat in regards to Tesla. It wouldn't surprise me if at some point they'd made changes concerning OTA updates. And it wouldn't surprise me if GM held little power at any negotiating table. I do question the validity of the OTA statement made in that article because of the source of it. He's proven to be a tad over zealous and blatantly wrong about some things.
     
  6. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    The first Dealership Network Rule is don't talk about Dealership Network Rules.
     
  7. fwgmills

    fwgmills Member

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    #7 fwgmills, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    It could also have to do with ownership rules. Once the dealer "purchases" the vehicle from the factory, the factory is probably not allowed to remotely change the functions of the vehicle. Therefore the "owner" (the dealership or me once I buy the car from the dealer) could do such an update. I've updated MyFord Touch several times since I bought my Explorer. I can do it or the dealer can do it (with authorization from me) but Ford can't, probably because the concept of over the air updates just didn't exist before connected cars. It worked the same way in the cellphone industry until Apple and Google came along and even now, Apple phones can update but other phones may not be able to because the carrier has their own code on them.
     
  8. Breezy

    Breezy Member

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    I guess nobody clicked through to the original Reuters article.

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

    General Motors Co (GM.N) will not use 'over-the-air' upgrades, a way of remotely updating software on its vehicles, for safety-critical vehicle systems such as brakes, the automaker's product development chief said on Wednesday, signaling a different approach from electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O).

    Mark Reuss, head of GM's global product development, said the U.S. No. 1 automaker plans to expand the use of over-the-air upgrades as it adopts a new electrical architecture for its vehicles over the next several years. GM makes some over-the-air updates to vehicles now through its OnStar telematics system, Reuss said.

    "We don't do as much PR around it," said Reuss, speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, adding that GM's new electrical architecture will be "ever more safe" from a data security standpoint and allow for additional upgrades.

    However, asked if GM would use over-the-air upgrades for vehicle systems such as braking or steering, Reuss said: "We would never do that."
     
  9. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    This is me not expressing laughter by not typing: LOL!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Of course not! I expect people to never be misquoted or taken out of context by any media source, ever. :redface: Thanks for setting us straight.
     
  10. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/international/2015/10/01/266064.htm

    An older article about OTA updates and Tesla. The dealer relationship is a serious impediment.

    That last comment from the dealer getting a kick out of customers lining up to have their vehicle clocks set for daylight savings time is an interesting indicator of the traditional attitude.
     
  11. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    I think this a subtle issue but might prove to be extremely important. L4 self driving is all about training deep learning algorithms with vast amounts of data. OTA updates gives Tesla an insane edge refining it with their existing fleet on the road all over the world generating training data. Within a year they'll have 100k vehicles participating in autopilot iterations while everybody else has a few dozen test vehicles.

    This issue illustrates some of the difficulty traditional carmakers will have catching up. Tesla might have full L4 autonomy ready in 2 years well ahead of any competition. They'd also have complete vertical integration while everybody else is trying to get layers of systems from different vendors to work together securely and reliably.

    OTA updates still seem like a cute secondary feature to most traditional automakers. They might prove to be the main reason Tesla could release solid L4 Autonomy first and have the market to themselves long enough to establish global dominance in it.
     
  12. Vitold

    Vitold Member

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    The original is not much better:

    I guess no one bothered to ask Reuss what 'ever more safe' means but it will evermore sound like marketing speak to me.
     
  13. SebastianR

    SebastianR Member

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    Of course the cynic in me expects legislation that prohibits OTA updates for things that GM couldn't do in order to prevent "security issues" - completely ignoring that in the Jeep incidents, cars were exploited remotely but had to visit a car dealer to be fixed... Here is to hoping that legislators don't break this nice thing for us.
     
  14. John Stuckey

    John Stuckey Member

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    "ever more safe" may be code speak for killing people and actually getting away with it forever. It is hard to trust folks who continue to kill children after they are aware of what they are doing be it GM or the State of Michigan.
     
  15. Haggy

    Haggy Member

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    It would come down to looking at the language in individual agreements. Tesla doesn't do automatic OTA upgrades in order to change firmware revisions. They do automatic downloads. They leave it up to customers to do the upgrade. It requires merely touching the screen rather than downloading something to a thumb drive and putting it in a connector, but if an agreement literally banned them from upgrading the software remotely, Tesla could easily say that they don't do that with the car's firmware. If contracts were written in a poor way, one could argue that dynamically downloading Google maps would violate an agreement. Of course Tesla downloads what could be considered software, especially if you use the broader definition that includes programs and data.
     

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