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Will we soon be able to update our cars like smartphones?

General Motors (GM) would like to network future vehicles with its in-house cloud platform “Ultifi”. The driver and vehicle could then live in a kind of symbiosis. The vehicles can also be updated like smartphones.

Our vehicles have changed enormously over the past 50 years. While in the beginning it was just about getting from A to B, small computers are now rolling down the streets. Studies from the United States assume that by 2025 around 70 percent of the vehicles driving there will be networked.

A chance, which the car manufacturer General Motors (GM) does not want to miss. With the new company-owned cloud platform Ultifi, GM wants to make its own vehicles completely wireless for the future in the coming years.

The first cars with the system will be on the market this year. Error corrections and new features then no longer require a workshop visit.

General Motors wants to improve maintenance and comfort with Ultifi

That also seems necessary. Current IT systems in vehicles require around 150 million lines of code. This value is likely to double in the coming years. With each new line, the risk of errors increases.

This is a circumstance that can result in major product recalls. Meanwhile, with Ultifi, updates should be easy and convenient to do in your own driveway. In addition, the networked vehicle of tomorrow will enable additional comfort functions.

Padma Sundaram, who has already managed a number of projects at General Motors, sees the car and smartphone as an ecosystem that works together without interruption. An example: When the owner approaches the vehicle, the seats and other comfort options are adjusted.

Security and privacy are paramount

GM developed a database so that only every vehicle is offered the updates that really work. This contains the information about all vehicles and with which functions a car is compatible. The group therefore plays updates at any time in a targeted manner.

The last important aspect is security. The company is working to ensure that the systems are optimally protected against access from outside. In addition, you only save really necessary information on your own servers. So nothing should stand in the way of a networked and digitized future.

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